DOTHAN, Ala. – May 9, 2019 – Today, representatives from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM), City of Dothan and Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the new paved pedestrian trail along east Highway 84. The trail, which connects the ACOM campus to the Ross Clark Circle, marks a significant milestone in the future development of the East 84 corridor.
“It’s one thing to envision what things can look like and be like. It’s another thing to bring them to fruition. It’s a great day to see part of a plan that is bringing and connecting downtown Dothan to 84 East. This is just one small piece of our whole plan,” said Mayor Mark Saliba.
Area leaders have been evaluating ways to enhance the east Highway 84 corridor for several years. Discussions to create a paved trail on the east side of Dothan began in 2016, with the goal of creating a designated walkway and biking path for residents. Dr. Craig Lenz, ACOM Dean, was instrumental in these discussions, as he underscored the need for a safer and healthier transportation alternative for medical students and others along the highway.
“The creation of this trail promotes the importance of wellness,” said Dr. Lenz. “There are so many cities that have grown up around traffic and people getting in cars rather than walking and biking to their destinations. That is something we have tried to instill in our medical community is the sense of wellness and how people can enjoy life more by being outside.”
In 2018, the City of Dothan secured a Transportation Alternatives Program grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation and provided matching funds to develop a shared pedestrian and biking trail along East Highway 84. The City of Dothan partnered with engineering firm Poly, Inc. to oversee the project and MidSouth Paving as contractor. Construction on the paved trail began in mid-2018 and was completed this spring. The trail starts near the ACOM campus on Cat Way and continues along Highway 84 toward the Ross Clark Circle. The opening of this trail demonstrates Dothan’s continued commitment to health and wellness initiatives across the area.