Clarksdale Cultural Heritage Trail


This trail keeps the Blues alive, connected in the Mississippi Delta

Neel-Schaffer provided engineering design, surveying, landscaping, and grant and construction management services for a project to create a “Cultural Heritage Trail” through the historic district of downtown Clarksdale. The goal of this new pedestrian pathway is to improve the infrastructure while highlighting and drawing attention to the City’s multiple blues music markers and monuments that were not previously tied together in any coherent fashion.

The $607,000 LPA-administered project was completed in April 2017. It addressed aging pedestrian infrastructure by providing new ADA-compliant sidewalks and ramps, decorative lighting, decorative paving, landscape improvements, catch basin and inlet improvements, new curbs and gutters, pedestrian way finding signage, and other site amenities such as benches and trash receptacles.

The project covered 12 city blocks and included some 4,450 feet of new sidewalks. Some of the sidewalks were constructed using earth-tone colored concrete to highlight the areas of the Cultural Heritage Trail.

One important part of the project was to incorporate a landscape theme that provides the Clarksdale Commercial District and surrounding area with long-term sustainable improvements that support local businesses and enhance the pedestrian experience.

In preparing for, designing, and then completing this project, Neel-Schaffer’s engineers and planners worked with numerous stakeholders, including the MDOT LPA staff, the Clarksdale Tourism Council, local business leaders, and residents.

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