Bike and paddle trails to meet in Parc des Ponts
By: Ken Grissom
Breaux Bridge – An intercity bike trail and a four-parish paddle trail are going to intersect at Parc des Ponts here, and the City Council agreed last week to help make things comfortable for travelers of both ilks.
Kristen Kordecki, representing the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, and Lafayette Consolidated Government planner Jennifer Severson, speaking for the Atakapa-Ishak Trail, appeared before the council at its April meeting to describe the projects and ask for minimal maintenance support.
The Atakapa-Ishak is a “multi-use” trail, suitable for bikers and hikers, that will ultimately link Lafayette, Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville. Phase 1 was recently opened. It consists of a dedicated lane along roadways and sidewalks between Parc Sans Souci downtown and Beaver Park, and bicycle parking and informational kiosks at the two parks,
Phase 2 will continue from Beaver Park to the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center. Eventually the trail will extend to Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville.
Funding is mostly through the Federal Highway Administration.
The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, being planned and promoted with the help of the National Park Service, follows the course of the bayou from its beginning at Port Barre in St. Landry Parish to Berwick, where it empties into the Atchafalaya River in St. Mary Parish.
Facilities planned for Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux include rest rooms and a kayak-friendly floating dock.
The City Council pledged to furnish water, power and a biweekly cleaning for a period of 15 years.
Cory Werk of Bayou Teche Experience, a private kayak livery on Bridge Street just south of the park, has agreed to watch over the facilities, locking them up at night to discourage vagrants – an ongoing problem at the city’s Parc Hardy, said Mayor Jack Dale Delhomme.