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County talks next steps in completing Humboldt Bay Trail

Humboldt County is coming together to plan how they will achieve the goal of connecting the Eureka section of the Humboldt Bay Trail to the Arcata section of the trail.

When complete, the 13-mile-long Humboldt Bay Trail will run from south Eureka through Arcata, serving as an anchor for a network of adjacent trails that connect surrounding communities. It will be a non-motorized trail, which the county said it believes will increase road safety, provide a low-cost travel alternative, expand recreational opportunities, improve community livability and promote active, healthy transportation. The trail is being constructed in phases by the cities of Eureka and Arcata and Humboldt County. Construction funding is secured for all but the final 4 miles of the trail. That section is called “Bay Trail South,” and extends from Target to Bracut Industrial Park.

The county held a public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka to discuss the plan to complete the Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata. The community was invited to see the current project design, learn about the strategy for completion and provide suggestions for improvements.

In addition to serving the region’s transportation needs, the county said the Humboldt Bay Trail will enhance recreational use and enjoyment around the bay.

“As we design the next segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail, we want to be responsive to community needs and sensitive to the context of the project area,” Hank Seemann, Humboldt County Public Works deputy director, said. “We’re committed to designing the project in a way that integrates with adjacent land use, minimizes environmental impacts, meets transportation safety goals and maintains resilience to flooding hazards and sea level rise.

Seeman said he understands the need to connect the two sections of trail, and quickly. "We also understand the desire to complete the connection between Eureka and Arcata as soon as possible," he said. "This is a major infrastructure project and we’re working hard to complete the various phases of the project development process.”

For more information about the Humboldt Bay Trail, click here. The environmental study report for the Humboldt Bay Trail South project will be posted on the Humboldt County government website by Tuesday, Feb. 20, according to the DA.

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