The city will soon seek bids for work to pave Elbert Drive and redo the parking lot.

Director of Public Services John Nilges said the city is hoping to start the bidding process soon in order to get the project moving. Nilges said he has a very aggressive schedule that calls for a May completion of the work.

Nilges said the paving was supposed to be done about two years ago but was pushed back as work on the Rotary Riverfront Trail western expansion moved forward.

Part of the expansion involved the paving of the new trail last October. Nilges said he didn’t think it was smart to pave Elbert Drive and then, in a short time, have asphalt trucks tear it up delivering material to the trail.

With the asphalt trail now in place, Nilges said now is the time to repave Elbert Drive.

The paving will act as an extension for the trail, Nilges said. The entire stretch of Elbert Drive from Lafayette Street to the trail entrance will be paved.

The stretch will essentially become a pedestrian trail, but there still will be room for cars and access to boat docks, Nilges said.

Additionally the parking lot will be redone. Nilges said four more parking stalls will be added.

Nilges said the project time line is based on whenever asphalt plants can open. He said he’d like to get going as soon as plants open so the project can be finished in May.

Riverfront Trail

The western expansion of the trail is nearly finished.

Parks crews need to install guardrails and backfill some areas around the trail before it can safely be opened for the public.

The trail is located to the west of the current trail and west of Lafayette Street. The city purchased land in 2015 and decided to use the property for a new trail.

The land purchase gave the city all the land along the Missouri River, from South Point west to St. John’s Creek.

The new trail extends west from the end of Elbert Drive across the former Rau and Politte properties. The trail “snakes” around the 42-acre parcel of undeveloped land and around the 12.4 acres of wetlands on the site.

The trail runs along the northern boundary of the site near the Missouri River and then winds through a forest heading west where it would cross an existing culvert bridge.

It then loops around an existing agricultural field near the confluence of St. John’s Creek, the Missouri River and the City Park Creek.