Plans to pave the western expansion of the Rotary Riverfront Trail this fall are moving forward.
The Washington City Council approved a contract with Gateway Design and Construction Services Monday night to asphalt the trail. The contract will pay the Valley Park-based company $106,400.
The parks department recently went out to bid for the asphalt service. Gateway and Byrne & Jones Construction were the only two bidders.
Gateway bid $99,408 for the project. Byrne & Jones bid $369,512.
With contingencies for unforeseen circumstances, the parks department backed going with Gateway for a total contract worth $106,400. The city had that much budgeted for the work thanks to a Recreation Trails Program (RTP) Grant.
The contract calls for the work to be finished by Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Before the trail is open to the public, the city is planning a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, Sept. 28, at 1:15 p.m. The event will take place at the riverfront.
Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle said earlier this month the goal is to have asphalt on the trail before it gets too cold. Crews are working on getting the trail ready for the asphalt and placing rock and fabric.
Dunkle said it’s imperative the city gets asphalt put down over the rock and fabric before winter hits. Because the site is susceptible to spring flooding the fear is the waters could wash away all the loose rock and fabric if the track isn’t covered in asphalt soon.
While crews are working, the area is closed to the public. A gate was installed to make sure people stayed off the site.
The asphalt would get that portion of the project done, but would not complete the full expansion project, Dunkle said. The city still has to do other things like fencing, guardrails, a culvert crossing, signs and other work. But, for the most part, having the asphalt would allow visitors to the site.
The contract calls for 4 inches of MoDOT-quality asphalt. The trail will be 12 feet wide and about 1 mile long.
The trail will be constructed to the west of the current trail. The city purchased land in 2015 that paved the way for the trail.
The purchase gave the city all the land along the Missouri River, from South Point west to St. John’s Creek.
The proposed 12-foot-wide trail would extend west from the end of Elbert Drive across the former Rau and Politte properties. Based on plans presented last year, the trail would “snake” around the 42-acre parcel of undeveloped land and around the 12.4 acres of wetlands on the site.
The trail would run along the northern boundary of the site near the Missouri River and then wind through a forest heading west where it would cross an existing culvert bridge.
The trail then would loop around an existing agricultural field near the confluence of St. John’s Creek, the Missouri River and the City Park Creek.