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Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail to be completed in early fall

Folsom’s Johnny Cash Bridge, spanning Folsom Lake Crossing Road, was designed to resemble Folsom State Prison’s East Gate guard tower. The tower was featured in a photo taken of Cash before his 1968 concert at Folsom prison.
Folsom’s Johnny Cash Bridge, spanning Folsom Lake Crossing Road, was designed to resemble Folsom State Prison’s East Gate guard tower. The tower was featured in a photo taken of Cash before his 1968 concert at Folsom prison. City of Folsom

Construction of the second phase of Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail begins this week at East Natoma Street and Folsom Prison Road and is scheduled for completion by early fall.

The current portion of the project includes 1.25 miles of Class I paved trail, an undercrossing beneath Folsom Prison Road allowing trail users to avoid motor vehicle traffic, and a 190-foot wooden arched bridge providing views of the American River and Lake Natoma, according to a city news release.

The project also includes a paved trail spur for Folsom prison employees between Natoma Street and the prison employee parking lot. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Folsom Prison Road during construction, although minor delays can be expected, according to the news release.

When this phase is completed, the Johnny Cash Trail will connect to an existing trail at Rodeo Park, providing runners, walkers and bicyclists a route to Folsom’s historic district and the American Parkway Trail.

Funding for the $3.23 million project comes from various federal grants and local transportation funds, according to the news release.

Like the first section of the trail, completed in 2014, this phase will be built by Westcon Construction Inc. The firm also built the Johnny Cash Bridge. Designed to resemble Folsom State Prison’s East Gate guard tower, which is featured in a photo of Cash taken before his 1968 Folsom prison concert, the bridge spans Folsom Lake Crossing Road.

The Johnny Cash Trail will serve as a setting for public art. The project includes eight larger-than-life artworks and a 3-acre park honoring Cash, known in country music circles as the “Man in Black” for his black attire.

The Folsom Arts Association is accepting contributions to complete the park and art installations for the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience.

Commemorative plaques can be purchased and will be displayed on a donor wall along the trail near the Johnny Cash Bridge and overlooking the site of the future Legacy Park. Donor plaques are available in four sizes and contributions are tax deductible. More information is available on the Folsom Cash Art Trail website, www.FolsomCashArtTrail.com.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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