The MKT and White Oak Bayou Greenway trails are among the most popular in Houston and connect the Heights to other parts of the city.
If all goes according to the city's plan, the trails will be connected to each other before the end of the year.
A Houston Public Works spokesperson said Friday the department plans to start construction on the MKT Trail Spur Connector this summer and have it completed by the fall. The project is expected to cost $950,000, according to the spokesperson.
From downtown, the White Oak Bayou Greenway trail meanders northwest along Interstate 45 and I-10 before proceeding west through Stude Park. The trails ends at Studemont Street, but the short connector will extend it to the west - through existing green space along the north side of White Oak Bayou - until it meets the MKT Trail, which runs northwest to southeast in that part of the Heights.
"It's a no-brainer," said Joe Cutrufo, the executive director of nonprofit BikeHouston. "The White Oak Bayou and MKT trails are two of the busiest paths in the whole city, and linking them up just makes a lot of sense."
The connector will branch off the MKT Trail just northwest of the pedestrian bridge across the bayou that has been closed since August because of a fire. Instead of crossing that bridge to get south of I-10 into the Sawyer Yards area, or vice versa, cyclists and pedestrians must take detours that significantly lengthen their route or force them off the trail and onto vehicular roadways.
A timeline for completing bridge repairs has yet to be announced by the Houston Parks Board, which is undertaking that project. It's possible the connector trail a little to the northeast could be completed first.
"This project is important to provide safe connectivity between our trail network, especially with the MKT bridge over White Oak Bayou still out of commission," a representative of Houston City Council member Abbie Kamin, who serves that part of the Heights, wrote in an email.