TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Construction is underway on the Golden Aster Trail on the city’s south side. Work is underway between Capital Circle Southwest and Long Leaf Road. This is a small part of a large effort to beautify the south side of the capital.

We met Darin Watson on Southside. He runs a car wash on Lake Bradford Road. “I grew up here. I was born here,” Watson said. He lives and works in an area where people will tell you there is a need for economic development. “I’ve been here all my life. Somehow it is developing a little.”

The Interstate agency plan is working to connect this part of the city with new opportunities.

“The Golden Island Trail is part of Capital Circle Southwest Greenways,” explained Shannon Berrigan, Blueprint Communications Manager. “We are building a nature trail that will connect areas in the south and southwest.”

This trail is adjacent to a major corridor development effort between Tallahassee International Airport and the area near the Watson area. The more Airport gateway It is projected to cost more than $60 million. Berrigan said the Aster Trail, on the other hand, costs about $160,000.

The route is named after the endangered flowers that are expected to bloom when the construction here ends and the weather warms up. Florida State Parks said it is recognized as an endangered plant at the state and federal level.

What caused the plant to become endangered is that much of its natural habitat was converted to land for agricultural use in the 1970s. Population surveys are conducted every three years to monitor the growth of the flower in the state.

When completed in June 2023, the clearing will be a multi-use trail and will be ADA accessible. It will also use what remains of the recently demolished Gamble Street Bridge. Once they destroy the bridge, it will be recycled and go on the dirt trail to make a good base for the trail.

“Recycling a lot of gravel saves a lot of money,” Berrigan said.

This money is intended to connect more people to a better quality of life and attract business to the South Side. The idea gives people like Watson hope for the future.

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