Cit­i­zens Park trail con­struc­tion gets go-ahead

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - MELISSA GUTE

BEN­TONVILLE — Cit­i­zens Park vis­i­tors may have a hard-sur­face trail to use be­fore year’s end be­cause the City Coun­cil ap­proved the con­struc­tion con­tract.

The 1-mile Cit­i­zens Park Fit­ness Trail will loop around the Ben­tonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and con­nect all the ameni­ties on the grounds and the Her­itage Trail — which con­nects to the Trail of Two Cities — as well as the neigh­bor­hoods south and west of the cen­ter.

It’s the next step in the park’s de­vel­op­ment. The park con­sti­tutes the 24 acres around the cen­ter, which opened in June 2015. The city added mul­tipur­pose fields in the fall of 2015. A re­stroom and con­ces­sion fol­lowed last year.

“This project will fi­nally be able to show vis­i­ble progress to­wards pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional pub­lic recre­ation ameni­ties to the cit­i­zens of SW Ben­tonville,” David Wright, parks and recre­ation di­rec­tor, wrote in memo to coun­cil mem­bers.

The coun­cil ap­proved a $248,910 con­tract Tues­day with the 81 Con­struc­tion Group to build the trail. The firm, based in Gen­try, was the low­est of nine bid­ders, ac­cord­ing to meet­ing doc­u­ments.

The bal­ance from build­ing the cen­ter as well as a $75,000 grant from the Arkansas High­way and Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment will pay for the trail.

Con­struc­tion should be­gin in mid-Septem­ber and be com­pleted by the end of the year, ac­cord­ing to Wright’s memo.

The trail should pro­vide a safe out­door path. Now, peo­ple walk, run and bike on the road cir­cling the build­ing.

Ben­tonville res­i­dent Ryan Boyle and his two chil­dren, ages 5 and 7, live about a half-mile from the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and of­ten walk on the road, he said be­fore head­ing into the build­ing Fri­day.

The road is wide enough and traf­fic speeds are slow enough he’s never felt like they’ve been in dan­ger, but said some­times they’ll step up on the grass to move out of the way.

He said the trail will be a great ad­di­tion to the park.

“We’d def­i­nitely use that more than the road,” he said, adding it also will be more con­ve­nient to con­nect to the trail sys­tem.

Plans are in the works for a 14,440-square-foot pav­il­ion and a 15-space park­ing lot in the park’s north­west cor­ner as well as a cir­cu­lar stage for the am­phithe­ater next to the cen­ter’s west side. The city hired Mor­ri­son Ship­ley in March to de­sign, bid and over­see the con­struc­tion of that project.

An in­clu­sive play­ground, which also has equip­ment ac­ces­si­ble for chil­dren with spe­cial needs, and a ten­nis court com­plex are also in the park’s plans.

Cit­i­zens Park will pro­vide much-needed park and green space in the city’s south­west

cor­ner, Ward 3 Al­der­man Bill Bur­ckart has said.

“Hav­ing dif­fer­ent ameni­ties for pedes­tri­ans and bikes makes it a live-work area,” he said. “That’s what we’re try­ing to do through­out town.”

CON­NECT WITH US ON FACE­BOOK Share your thoughts on this and other sto­ries at face­book. com/nwademgaz

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.