Trail system planned for Arlington Drive

Plans are underway to remove about 70,000 square feet of asphalt along Arlington Drive in Costa Mesa and replace it with a new trail system that will filter urban runoff heading into Upper Newport Bay.

The estimated $3.1-million project is a collaboration between the city of Costa Mesa, state-owned Orange County Fairgrounds and Kabbara Engineering.

Much of the project, nearly $1.7 million, is being funded by an Orange County Transportation Authority grant the city received last year. The City Council has approved another $510,000 of city funds toward the effort.

The Fair Board voted last week to contribute $1 million.

The trail system will be usable by pedestrians and cyclists. It will travel along the southern end of Arlington, abutting the fairgrounds property, between Fairview Road and Newport Boulevard.

The project will include a landscape-like material called bioswale, which will naturally filter the fairgrounds’ runoff. It will also involve expanding an existing storm drain beneath Arlington.

City officials said presentations about the project will be made to the Mesa del Mar community and Newport-Mesa Unified School District early next year. Construction is expected to start in fall 2016 and could last two or three months.