Lincoln, Neb.-- Part of the half and full Lincoln Marathon route will soon see a much needed makeover.
The Boosalis Trail is being widened from eight to ten feet to accommodate increased participation in the annual Lincoln Half and Full Marathons.
The construction will begin next week, the last full week of September.
Eric Noel has run the Lincoln marathon three times, and says this bottleneck can be a real issue with hundreds of people trying to pass through at the same time.
"It can be frustrating when you get to a certain point where you kind of are in the zone and everything is going well," Noel said, "and all of a sudden you kind of have to wake up and suddenly be aware of everything around you because everyone is going inwards."
More than 10,000 people take part in the half and full Lincoln Marathon each year, but Glenn Moss, President of the Lincoln Track Club, said this widening could lead to more numbers in the future.
Moss said the marathon could accommodate about 15,000 people in a couple of years.
The trail runs along Highway 2, and will be closed from 27th to 48th Streets through the end of November.
According to Lincoln's Park and Recreation department, the first phase of work will include the closure of Rock Island Trail for about 10 days.
Rock Island merges into Boosalis.
The project cost is about $426,000, funding provided by Lincoln Track Club, the Great Plains Trails Network, the City of Lincoln and the Visitor's Promotion Committee.
City council member Leirion Gaylor Baird said the cost is well worth the payoff in the end.
"From the city's perspective," Baird said, "I know the Visitor's Promotion Committee, the chamber and the city planners, they're all excited about having this be something big or something that can allow more people to come here, more people to experience Lincoln, and what a top-notch race it is."
For more information on the city's trail system, visit lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: trails).