As a result of unprecedented rainfall in 2015 and 2016, the Trinity River overflowed its banks and caused considerable damage along the City of Irving’s Campion Trail. The almost continuous wet weather caused a 50-year flood on the Trinity, damaging four parks along Irving’s North Campion Trail — Sam Houston Trail Park, T.W. Richardson Grove, California Crossing Park and Bird’s Fort Trail Park. Oversaturated soil shifted, was washed out from under scenic overlooks and concrete trail paths, or eroded along the banks of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.
The City of Irving Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Parks and Recreation Department coordinated the repairs totaling almost $1.48 million, which is funded through the Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget. Repair work is ongoing and began in November 2016.
Construction is underway, but the trail system is accessible for all Irving residents and visitors.
Construction at Sam Houston began in November 2016 and concluded in April 2017. The project included repairing 500 feet of retaining wall and trail damaged by flooding.
The Parks and Recreation Department and the Streets Division began and completed construction and repair work on Campion Trail at California Crossing in October 2016. The project, which was slated to repair 300 feet of concrete trail upon initial inspection, was only in need of 100 feet of new trail.
Construction at T.W. Richardson Grove began in May 2017 and is nearing completion. The park’s canoe launch has been moved to Bird’s Fort Park because it offers safer, more manageable access to the water. The project also includes relocating the overlook, which sat adjacent to the riverbed, to a new location alongside the trail.
Design work is underway for the repair and renovation of Bird’s Fort Park. The city hopes to begin construction this fall, pending the City Council’s approval. Visitors are likely to see the biggest changes with the addition of the canoe launch and installation of a riprap entry, composed of 18- to 24-inch stones that will extend 25 feet into the water. A retaining wall also is planned to protect against future flooding and erosion. The wall will sit between the water and a large, upgraded seating area for visitors. The trail alignment in this location also will be pushed back 40 feet from the riverbank.
While the Campion Trail system sits within a flood plain, the extent of the 2015 and 2016 floods was unparalleled. However, the city believes the flooding served as an opportunity for growth. The original intent of several overlooks and trails was to provide visitors with an unobstructed view of the water. Moving forward, as the city continues to add to the Campion Trail system, trail alignment will be more strategic in its relationship to the river bank and will work with the natural environment to provide a safe journey for residents and visitors.
For more information on Campion Trail, call (972) 721-2501.
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