The city of Irvine will finally complete the last portion of the Jeffrey Open Space Trail (JOST) after receiving $14.5 million in state funding, presented by California state Sen. Dave Min’s office.
The trail, which opened in 2015 after $30 million in construction, is 3.5 miles along Irvine’s Jeffrey Road, spanning from Portola Parkway to the 5 Freeway. Its intent is to honor 500 years’ worth of local history, with landmarks at various points offering historical context of the area.
The new funding for the trail will allow the final 1.5-mile segment to be implemented, something that has been planned since the park’s inception, and once finished will connect the Santa Ana Mountains to the 405 Freeway, where a current overpass then connects with more trails leading to the ocean at Crystal Cove State Park as well as other areas, including Cleveland National Forest.
In the years since it opened, the trail has become popular among bikers, hikers, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Min presented Irvine city councilmembers with the check at a dedication on Aug. 11, where they noted that construction will begin next summer on the trail, which will extend from Barranca to Walnut and over the 5 Freeway. It’s expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.
“I’m thrilled this year’s state budget designates $14.5 million to fund the completion of JOST,” Min said in a statement.
“Open space preservation is smart policy, which not only supports our sustainability efforts but also improves the quality of life for our residents and brings our community together. Thank you to my hometown, the city of Irvine, for being a fantastic partner in this endeavor! I’m excited about the possibilities for hikers, bikers, and other outdoors enthusiasts once the Jeffrey Trail is completed.”
The current path is divided into three segments of history. One shows a landmark beginning in 1510 when Spanish explorers arrived and occupied the land. The second segment shows the period of 1870 when James Irvine acquired the land. The third segment celebrates modern-day Irvine, from the late 20th century to current times. The trail features stone tunnels, bridges, open space areas, and more.
“Continuing to enhance our great City’s open space areas is something I couldn’t be more proud of accomplishing,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan in a statement.
“Our community thrives on being healthy and enjoying our master-planned community, and I’m so grateful for the partnership with Senator Min.”
A significant part of the $14.5 million will go toward a 1,200-foot bridge going over the 5 Freeway, which will cost about $3.4 million.
“The city of Irvine helped the senator get the state funds allocated, with support from the Bicycle Club of Irvine, Jax Bicycle Center, and Orange County Bicycle Coalition,” Danni Wang, spokeswoman for Min, told The Epoch Times.