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Board of Supervisors OKs funds transfer for Yountville-St. Helena bike trail

A map of the proposed 11-mile Yountville to St. Helena section shows the Napa Valley Vine Trail in red, orange, blue and green as it meanders on the west side of Highway 29, loosely following the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks.

While it wasn’t yet ready to support Napa Valley Vine Trail’s sign-moving project, the Napa County Board of Supervisors remained committed to construction of the 47-mile pedestrian and bicycle pathway.

They approved an amendment to a consulting contract Tuesday that shifts $30,000 in previously authorized Vine Trail funding to the task of creating ‘plat’ maps showing necessary easements for the 11-mile section between Yountville and St. Helena.

The plat maps are part of the preliminary design work just underway on this segment of the trail, which will extend from where the Vine Trail meets California Drive along the west side of Highway 29 heading north.

Once the design work is finished, the documents will be submitted to the California Department of Transportation for review and approval.

Referred to as the “missing piece,” this 11-mile segment is the last large remaining piece in the bike and pedestrian path that will connect the entire Napa Valley to the greater Bay Area.

The cost of the project is estimated to be around $30 million. The route is expected to require the construction of five bridges, eight railroad crossings and numerous drainage culverts.

The St. Helena and Yountville section is anticipated to be completed in mid-2025.

A 12.5-mile link between Yountville and Kennedy Park in Napa has been open since 2018 and today regularly attracts more than 520,000 users per year.

The northern section between Calistoga and St. Helena is expected to be complete this spring or early summer. Meanwhile, the project recently received a major financial boost of $2.5 million from the Clif Family Foundation, based in Napa Valley.

The foundation money comes in addition to a $4 million federal grant awarded earlier this year that has been used to do some preliminary studies of the Yountville section