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The California Coastal Conservancy is set to allocate up to $1.5 million toward trail construction in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park at a meeting scheduled to take place next Thursday, February 14, drastically increasing the total investment to date in developing a 22 mile trail system through the park for use by hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.

In 2003, the Conservancy authorized a $1 million grant to San Diego County to begin the process of developing the trails project, which included design costs and environmental studies throughout the 2,000 acre park. Last year, the county received $450,000 from the Conservancy to build trails on the eastern portion of the land adjacent to Dairy Mart Road. The county overall has received more than $1.2 million to date for additional trails projects from varying sources.

In addition to the $1.5 million in new Conservancy funding, the plan calls for $480,000 to be diverted from the county’s General Fund toward the project.

The new money would go to fund six miles of official trail, in large part improving three existing “unofficial” pathways through the park that range from two to eight feet wide. Improved trails would have a width of four to six feet and be graded to ensure an incline of no more than five degrees. Signage would be installed along the pathways to encourage visitors to stay on the maintained trails and to inform visitors about endangered and protected species that might be encountered.

When completed, the trails system would allow travel from various starting points all the way to the coast, and would connect with Border Fields State Park, the California Coastal Trail, and the Bayshore Bikeway.

Construction on the new additions is expected to begin in September, with a targeted completion date of February 2016.

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