Although it may be hard to imagine under the fresh blanket of snow, the Greenway Trail System is blooming.
The Parks and Recreation Commission on Monday accepted a bid from a local contractor to complete the next phase of the city's trail plan. The bid now goes to the Common Council for final approval.
The Greenway Trail System is a citywide network of recreational trails that connect existing and proposed parks together. The comprehensive trail plan will be finished in five to 10 years and eventually snake 39 miles across the city. To date, about 11 miles of off-road paths have been constructed.
Over the past year, the Park Commission and the Greenway Corridor Committee have worked together to update the city's trail plan. In 2011, the Common Council adopted an updated plan prepared by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
The winning bid
Bill Kolstad, director of parks, recreation and forestry, said the city received about 11 bids for the Deer Creek Trail job, which entails 3,500 feet - about two-thirds of a mile - of off-road asphalt trail just north of Interstate-94, between Manor Court and Calhoun Road within Brookfield Manor and Ruby Parks. The commission ultimately awarded the contract to All-Ways Contractors because the company's bid came in the lowest at $160,950, Kolstad said.
Chris Michels, owner of All-Ways Contractors, said work is slated to begin in August and is expected to last about a month. The company completed several segments of the trail system last year. Michels can't wait for the snow to thaw so he can enjoy the trails with his son.
"These trails are good for me as a resident and good for business," he said.
Paying for the trail
Taxpayers won't have to pay toward the estimated $300,000 needed for trail construction.
"There are four cell tower locations on city-owned property generating lease revenue that supports the funds for the Greenway Trail System development," Kolstad said. The Department of Natural Resources has agreed to pay for half the project.
The only other Greenway Trail development being contemplated for 2013 is a segment of the Underwood Creek Trail. That segment spans the Brookfield East High School property and provides an off-road connection north of the school. Elmbrook School District officials said extending the grant-of-rights to the city would not cost the district.
The project is still in the preliminary planning stage.
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