By BILL SHEA
Messenger staff writer
Walkers and bicyclists will finally be able to head out on some new trails along the east side of the Des Moines River in Fort Dodge later this year.
The trails, envisioned in the city's 1999 riverfront masterplan, will be built this summer in an effort outlined Tuesday evening by representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Bids from contractors interested in building 1.8 miles of trail near Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course are due on Tuesday, Tom Heinold, a program manager for the Corps of Engineers, told about 30 people gathered at the Fort Dodge Public Library.
Heinold said work would begin in May and be completed by the end of the year.
These trails will be built:
All three sections will be 10-foot wide asphalt paths, according to Ron Silver, a realty specialist for the Army Corps of Engineers.
Those trails won't be the only ones built this year as the community's network of walking and biking paths expands. A new section between Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex and John F. Kennedy Memorial Park north of Fort Dodge will also be created. Last week, the Webster County Board of Supervisors hired Howrey Construction, of Rockwell City, to build that section at a cost of $668,361.45.
And in the city, a trail will be created along Kenyon Road between Eighth Street and Tower Drive. Also, parts of Williams Drive and 20th Avenue North will receive new pavement markings so that they can serve as designated trail links.
Last year, a new trail section along 15th Street between 20th Avenue North and the sports complex was finished.
The riverfront trails are a joint venture of the city and the Army Corps of Engineers.
''We really appreciate the partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers on this project,'' said Randy Kuhlman, the chairman of the Webster County Trails Task Force.
''We've leveraged local dollars with federal dollars for this project,'' he added.
The costs of the riverfront trails are being split between the federal and city governments. So far, the city has spent about $1.7 million and the federal government has spent about $1 million.
Heinold said the construction cost estimate is $1 million to $5 million.
Kara Mitvalski, an engineer for the Corps, said some additional work could be done if the bid prices are low. Those extra projects include parking lots near the lower dam and along Meriwether Drive, a portage area that would enable canoeists and kayakers to get out of the river to go around the dam and a reconstruction of the boat ramp on the east side of the river.
There is a plan to build a handicapped accessible fishing pier near the lower dam, but there isn't enough money available to build it now, according to Marshall Plumley, a study manager for the Corps of Engineers.
Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org