The Legacy Trail is a creative project built to enhance community wellness while preserving local history and the environment. The community generated enthusiasm for decades around the trail’s construction and development, resulting in this finished project that revitalizes abandoned areas, protects green infrastructure, and facilitates neighborhood and regional connections. After the addition of the Legacy Trail Extension and the North Port Connector, the entire Legacy Trail system is now a 30-mile winding corridor where pedestrians and bicyclists can travel safely between North Port, Venice, and Sarasota, Florida.
Flexible and Accelerated Scheduling
The initial phase of the Legacy Trail Extension design and construction was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding unexpected complications to the permitting process that threatened the project schedule. Despite this interruption, the Kimley-Horn team adapted the schedule and ran concurrent stages, allowing for construction of one phase while another phase was still being designed. This simultaneous phase production expedited the completion of the trail two years earlier than expected, and the Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector were officially open in September 2022.
Legacy Trail Historic and Environmental Revitalization
Part of the trail extension and construction involved the incorporation of an 18.5-mile stretch of historic railroad tracks. This railway was previously used for almost a century as transportation by a circus company, and our team worked to integrate the complex historic site with green infrastructure around the tracks.
The team also revitalized bridge structures, a neglected building, and a decommissioned Florida Division of Motor Vehicles test track. These decisions promoted the accelerated schedule and preserved historic elements that speak to the life of the local area.
Uniting community considerations and environmental wellness, Kimley-Horn provided the following services for the Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector:
- Trail design
- Structural design
- Signing and marking
- Signalization and lighting
- Landscape architecture
- Environmental permitting
- Stormwater management design
- Water/wastewater utility upgrades
- ITS system upgrades
- Community engagement
The nine-mile Legacy Trail Extension and five-mile North Port Connector offer pedestrians and bicyclists the opportunity to travel between multiple cities and access schools and parks throughout the region. The trail also provides amenities—including parking, restrooms, playgrounds, bicycle repair stations, and pickleball courts—and integrates technological safety features like high-intensity activated crosswalk and rectangular rapid flashing beacon crossings.
The Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector have welcomed many more visitors since the project’s completion—a true testament to the trail’s community impact and environmental preservation that can now be enjoyed for 30 continuous miles.