Town Branch Commons



Project Overview

Town Branch Commons will be a strip of Bluegrass running through downtown Lexington. This winding park and trail system will roughly follow the path of Town Branch, Lexington’s first water source, which is located in a culvert under modern-day Vine Street. The system will include continuous bike and walking paths, a lush green band through downtown, connect new and existing parks, and improve water quality.  It will link our city's two major trails, Town Branch Trail and the Legacy Trail, giving us 22 miles of uninterrupted trail, connecting downtown to our world famous rural landscape.

Town Branch Commons is more than a beautiful streetscape and park system through downtown. It is...

  • A strip of history running through our city center
  • A connector of neighborhoods, people, and public spaces
  • Green infrastructure that improves water quality and our urban ecology
  • A transportation network that can be used for far more than just recreation
  • A world-class park with  diverse recreational, educational, arts, & environmental programming
  • A huge step forward for our community’s public space
  • A centerpiece of our community that will be cherished for decades

TBC aerial

Town Branch Commons is all-inclusive of the Town Branch Park, Town Branch Trail, immediately adjacent parks, pedestrian spaces and connections to other downtown parks/plazas/etc. This comprehensive system is made possible by a public-private partnership between the City of Lexington and the Town Branch Fund. Project components and responsibilities for each partner includes: 

  • Town Branch Trail is a dedicated bike and pedestrian path running through Town Branch Commons, from Third & Midland to Rupp Arena. The City of Lexington, is managing this first phase of construction, which is fully funded by public resources.
  • Town Branch Park is the signature park at the western most part of the Town Branch Commons. This signature element is being funded by private donors committed to the success of the park, and efforts are being led by the Town Branch Fund. 

The Trail

Town Branch Commons will be the hub of a city-wide trails system, closing the gap between our downtown parks and two major trails. Town Branch Commons and Town Branch Connector will circle downtown’s north side to connect to the Legacy Trail. Once on the path, users will be able to access 22 continuous miles of dedicated walking, jogging, and cycling trails connecting the city center to the countryside.

Map: Downtown Trails

Town Branch Trail through the Town Branch Commons is fully funded by a diverse array of federal and state grants that leverage local dollars. This includes a $14.1M federal TIGER Grant, $3.6M federal CMAQ Grant, $2.9M federal TAP Grant, $7.1M Kentucky Infrastructure Loan, and $11.8M of local dollars.

Town Branch Trail runs through the Town Branch Commons. Within the dense downtown core, the trail separates bikers from pedestrians. As it travels along Midland Ave. the walkers and bikers are combined for a different experience. Water is featured along the path in interactive fountains and planting areas to collect stormwater. The trail is separated and buffered from adjacent vehicular traffic. 

Vine Street renderings
      Vine Street 
Midland Renderings
      Midland Avenue 


Anticipated Timeline

Town Branch Commons broke ground July 2, 2018. Utility work is underway as Water Quality, Kentucky Utilities, Kentucky American Water, and others conduct necessary work in advance of the trail construction. Once utility work is completed above and below ground the trail, additional planters, stormwater features, fountains, and landscaping will be installed starting in 2019. Town Branch Trail anticipates substantial completion in 2021-2022.