By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The completion of a bicycle/pedestrian trail from U.S. 33 to the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds has been delayed. However, the trail is still expected to be in place for the 2014 fair.
Work by Niles, Mich.-based Selge Construction crews on the Monroe Street trail was originally set to be finished Friday of last week. However, Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety members on Monday approved extending the deadline to April 13 of next year.
The board also approved an addition of $5,264.70 to the project cost, bringing the total contract with Selge Construction to $831,979.43. The new funding is for additional trail construction near the Monroe Street bridge over Rock Run Creek.
Goshen Utilities Engineer Dustin Sailor listed several factors that delayed the project. These included an unforeseen gas line conflict with the storm sewer, delays in the bridge project and winter weather conditions.
Sailor said the bridge replacement project is a separate project by Elkhart County officials, using local funds, and being constructed concurrently with the new trail.
The Monroe Street trail project is being funded with 80 percent federal transportation enhancement funds and 20 percent local funds. When complete, the trail will extend from U.S. 33, running on the north side of Monroe Street (C.R. 34) until it reaches Blackport Drive. The trail will then cross to the south side of Monroe and run all the way to the fairgrounds’ Gate 5.
According to Goshen engineering staff, the overall cost of the Monroe Street trail project — including design, right-of-way acquisition, construction and construction inspection — is in the neighborhood of $1.4 million.