{child_flags:top_story}Path to improvement

{child_byline}EMILY HOARD

The News-Review

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To create a smoother, safer route for bicyclists, pedestrians and disc golf enthusiasts, the city of Roseburg will consider replacing a section of the pathway in Stewart Park and Riverfront Park.

Nikki Messenger, public works director, said the section to be replaced is at the end of its useful life.

“The asphalt is beginning to fail and there are sections that have been heaved by tree roots,” she said. “They are also narrower than our current minimum standard of 10-feet-wide.”

Last year, the city reconstructed and widened the path from the YMCA parking lot to the point where the new project will start, which is near the northeast corner of the park maintenance shop. The project will continue east to the south VA gate where the path starts up a hill to the disc golf course.

The new path would be widened and be improved for the safety and comfort of cyclists and pedestrians passing each other.

“It gets so much use through there, and the new smoother pavement is nice and just the width is nice too to have multiple use on that trail,” Engineering Manager Jim Maciariello said.

The path would be closed for part of the construction, which is expected to be complete by mid to late June.

The Roseburg Parks Commission met Wednesday and decided to recommend to the city council the award of the project to the lowest bidder, Black Pearl Paving & Excavation, for $65,742.

It also voted to recommend the council adopts a resolution supporting a grant application for Recreational Trails Program funding from Oregon Parks and Recreation to renovate the remaining section of the path. This section would continue up the hill to the area where the path connects with another section running north to south.

“We are applying for a grant to continue that work and hopefully if we get that grant from state parks, we’ll be able to continue that improvement from the top of the hill all the way up through the woods where the disc golf course is,” Maciariello said.

The commission further decided to recommend that city council reject all bids for the Fir Grove Splash Pad and Playground Project, as they were all much higher than what was expected.

The project, which would create a play area at Fir Grove Park, received two bids for construction, one for $617,332.75 and another for $651,861. However, the engineer’s estimate is $355,956.15, and the city already spent $301,000 of its $650,000 project budget on equipment, permits and other fees.

Though construction for the splash pad was planned to begin in June and finish in August, the project will need to be postponed as the city looks into different alternatives for lowering construction costs.

“We will look at many different aspects including options for the equipment building, what time of year to bid it and how long to allow the contractor for construction, the materials being used and other value engineering options,” Messenger said.

Messenger said the city plans to take new bids for construction this fall.

“We are committed to constructing this project,” Messenger said. “This is a temporary setback that we will overcome and we look forward to a ribbon cutting in 2018.”

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Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217 or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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Outdoors and Natural Resources Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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