GAINESVILLE – After a vote by the Alachua County Commission, the controversial Archer Braid Trail project will run through Haile Plantation. The board ultimately approved the construction of the Haile Plantation portion of the trail and a quarter-mile portion of an existing trail.

The Archer Braid Trail is proposed to run from the City of Archer through University of Florida campus and will connect with existing trails. Construction for the Haile Plantation phase of the trail will begin in fall 2013.

The Haile Plantation portion has caused controversy among some subdivisions residents. A poll was held for those residents to decide whether or not they favored the trail portion in their neighborhood. However, when deciding on the county’s plans for infrastructure, the public’s vote is not binding.

In order to meet the Florida Department of Transportation deadline set for March and keep funding, county commissioners had to reach a decision on plans for the trail.

The county, through a local agency partnership agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will manage the Haile Plantation phase of the project. This phase does not contain bicycle or pedestrian pathways.

The first phase of the Archer Braid Trail project that runs along SR 24 from Archer to SW 91st street will be completed by the FDOT, said county transportation planning manager Jeff Hays.

The Haile Plantation trail segment will run for 2.2 miles. While a typical sidewalk is around 6-feet wide; the new sidewalk will be 8-to 10-feet wide said Hays. The trail will run along the portion of Haile Plantation from SW 91st Street and SW 46th Boulevard, and will cost $750,000.

The rationale behind building the Haile Plantation segment is due to its status as a large population center, and “People will have access to local attractions without having to get in their cars,” he said.

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