Contract awarded for Monona recreational trail extension

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

At its May 21 regular meeting, the Monona Council approved the final plans, specifications, form of contract and estimate of cost for the recreational trail extension that will connect the city’s Butterfly Garden and Trail with Gateway Park. The project contract was awarded to Bacon Concrete, of Postville, at a cost of $164,000, well below the engineer’s estimated cost.

After some discussion, the council opted to go with hot mix asphalt paving for most of the project rather than concrete, which would have increased the cost by around $15,000. The cost for grading and the trail’s stone base would have been the same for either option, noted engineer Jon Biederman, from Fehr Graham.

In addition to costing less, asphalt is a bit smoother and easier for runners, Biederman said.

That point appealed to councilwoman Heather Lange.

“We’ll be using this as a recreational trail,” she said, adding that a lot of the community’s population is also older. “I’d rather have the give of asphalt.”

Biederman said asphalt will likely have a shorter life span than concrete, but it wasn’t too far off. Communities don’t tend to heavily favor one over the other, he added.

“Of the trail projects we do, it’s an even split between asphalt and concrete,” he said. “With asphalt, it comes down to budget.”

Biederman said the eight-foot-wide trail will have a crushed stone shoulder, hopefully offering more protection for the edges.

Pavement markings and stop signs, as well as trail head signage, will be incorporated into the project, Biederman shared, in an effort to assuage some of the council’s safety concerns.

The proposed route will run close to the 125th Street/Spruce Street intersection with Highway 18/52, a location councilman Dan Havlicek fears could be dangerous. He was the only council member who did not vote to approve the resolution finalizing the project plans.

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