Walking trail phase two set to start in 2017

Justin Yost, Staff Writer

Everyone knows there is a walking trails that goes around the Frisbee golf course and behind the baseball-softball fields on campus. But did you know that trail is supposed to continue all the way around town?

At the city council meeting last Tuesday, many people in attendance wanted to know an update on the much overdue walking trail project.

The project, which is in four phases, started in 2003 with phase one. Wayne’s Department of Roads approved $498,000 in funding for phase one which has been completed. Phase two will cost $1.7 million and construction is planning to start in 2017.

Phase two will be funded with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent with city funds. City council set aside enough money to pay for their share of the cost.

Plans were first drawn up in 2006 for phase two, but when bidding for construction crews were introduced the city council found some difficulties.

“We discovered the original plans from 2006 plan to put the trail on Westwood Road and Sherman Street by painting a bike trail, no longer fit federal requirements,” City Administrator Lowell Johnson said.

New Federal requirements says the city must mark off five-foot wide trail lines, which would prohibit on street parking on both sides of the street. To do so would require the city to make Westwood Road and Sherman Street one way streets, which Johnson says the city is considering.

“Another option would be to move the trail onto the terraces of the two streets,” Johnson said. “We could just abandon that part of the trail and stop the trail at the Community Activity Center. The council and neighbors are currently deliberating these options.”

If an option is chosen soon by the city council the final design could be drawn up in time for bidding for construction for 2017.

If the Wayne city does not build the trail they will have to pay back $93,230 in federal dollars and $45,000 in Games and Parks grant. In acquisition and engineering survey costs the City of Wayne will have $54,000 invested that is unrecoverable.