Mobility Master Plan Projects
Georgetown Railroad Trail Project
What is the project?
The City of Temple purchased the railroad right-of-way in 2010. Federal law regulates how inactive railroads may be removed or repurposed. The City Attorney Office applied for “railbanking” in 2020. Railbanking is the term for federal approval that allows inactive railroads to be converted to trails. The city is obliged to keep the right-of-way, if in the future the need arises to reconstruct the railroad. The city received approval through the federal Surface Transportation Board in May 2021 to allow conversion to a hike and bike trail.
Phase 1 will be from 5th Street to 31st Street, with construction funded through the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Phase 2 will be from 31st Street to the Leon River, but is not yet funded. Staff will start applying for a grant through TxDOT Transportation Alternatives program in early 2023.
Possible Phase 3 will be on the Belton side of the Leon River.
The Georgetown Railroad trail will convert the inactive rail line, including the Historic MK&T Railroad Bridge, into a scenic 10-foot-wide hike-and-bike trail that connects people living in Temple and Belton. The trail provides a direct connection between Raye Allen Elementary School and the Deerfield, Stonegate, Bentwood and Bella Terra neighborhoods. It will also connect to South Temple Park, Lion's Junction Water Park, and the new mixed-use Legacy Ranch development near FM 93. The project presents a unique opportunity to preserve the MK&T Bridge that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project demonstrates the regional cooperation that exists between the cities of Belton and Temple.
GTRR Phase 1
From: East of S 5th Street, near Raye Allen Elementary School (TISD)
To: S 31st Street
Description: Construct 10 ft concrete hike-and-bike trail along the right-of-way of the former Georgetown Railroad.
GTRR Phase 2
From: S 31st Street
To: Leon River / Historic MK&T Truss bridge / Temple City Limits
Description: Construct 10 ft concrete hike-and-bike trail along the right-of-way of the former Georgetown Railroad and renovate the historic MK&T Truss bridge
GTRR Phase 3
From: Leon River / Historic MK&T Truss bridge
To: Leon River / Bend O’ The River Park / TBD?
Description: (tentative) Construct 10 ft concrete hike-and-bike trail from the railroad right-of-way, across Taylors Valley Road and the Leon River to connect with Bend O’ The River Park
Background: Staff and stakeholder discussions have taken place to reach consensus on the feasibility and optimal route to extend the trail from near the MK&T Bridge west and north up to the Bend O’ The River Park. This Phase will be dependent on multiple factors, including completion of Phase II, renovation of the bridge, access easements and/or acquiring right-of-way for the trail, construction of a pedestrian bridge, and any environmental clearance required to cross the Leon River.