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Legacy Trail Rest Stop Design Approved For Area Around Giant Water Tank

Scape Landscape/Architecture

Lexington’s Urban County Council approved the preliminary design for a Legacy Trail rest stop around a soon-to-be constructed sewage overflow tank.    Director of Water Quality Charlie Martin says the city’s EPA consent decree requires the construction of the 70 foot tall tank at Cane Run.  While this runs along the Legacy Trail, he says the location can't be changed because the area is a sewage convergence point.   

“The pump station is sitting there.  It’s a 20 million gallon-a day pump station.  It has pipes that come into it that are anywhere from 8 to 36 inches in diameter and the outgoing pipe is 30.  It’s the junction point of a major highway related to sanitary sewer infrastructure,” he said.

Martin and officials from Scape Architecture suggested turning the area around the tank into a rest stop, both to make the structure less of an eyesore and address the needs of trail users. 

“The constant thing I heard from stakeholders is “We need shade. We need a stop on the trail, to rest, to fill up a water bottle, go to the restroom.  We don’t necessarily need a destination, but we need a place to stop,”” he said.

The initial design would add restrooms, benches, a water fountain, public art, and bike racks, along with trees planted around the tank. Some councilmembers, including Jennifer Scutchfield, debate over long-term maintenance of the project, as well as whether the Division of Water Quality or Parks and Recreation should construct the amenities.  Others, such as Vice Mayor Steve Kay, wondered if there were cost-effective ways to decorate the tank itself.  

Ultimately, the council voted 12-3 to approve Martin's recommendation, with representatives Jennifer Scutchfield, Fred Brown, and Russ Hensley dissenting.  Martin estimates the cost of the amenities to be around $1.7 million, and expects a more fleshed-out design by the beginning of next year.

More information on the project can be found at lexingtonky.gov.

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.