Santa Fe Trail (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Photo by Danny Fulgencio.

Designs for a new trail connecting White Rock Lake to South Dallas are underway, and construction could begin as early as September, the Dallas Morning New reported.

The 9-mile Trinity Forest Spine Trail will stretch from the Santa Fe Trail, north of the Tenison Park Golf Course, to the DART Lawnview Station, south of Interstate 30.

The project is part of a Circuit Trail Conservancy effort to build The Loop, a hiking and biking trail that will create new paths to connect 40 miles of existing trails around the city’s core. The 50-mile network is expected to cost $56 million.

The Trinity Forest Spine Trail is the most expensive part of The Loop, according to the Morning News. Costing $18 million, it will be divided into an $11 million northern part and a $7 million southern part.

The bidding process is expected to open in May or June, with construction starting shortly after city officials decide on a construction company, the Morning News reported. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Many hope the trail will help drive economic growth and draw recreational facilities, grocery stores and housing developments to the neighborhood, Vikki Martin, executive director of the Ferguson Road Initiative, told the Morning News.

Dallas City Councilwoman Paula Blackmon told the newspaper the trail is needed to connect neighborhoods that have long been divided by a highway.

“It’s got to be thoughtful. It’s got to be safe, but it’s exciting to see that we’re looking at these connections,” she said. “You’re starting to bring down those barriers, so the city doesn’t seem so big anymore. You’re connecting those communities.”

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