Park trail delayedPublished 11:24am Tuesday, September 3, 2013
A Battle Lake trail project initially set to be completed this fall has been delayed until next spring.
A 1.5 mile portion of a trail connecting Battle Lake to Glendalough State Park, which will be owned and managed by the city, ran into problems during the bidding process, according to Glendalough Park manager Jeff Wiersma.
“The bids came in too high, otherwise it would have been ready in the fall,” Wiersma said.
Wanda Berg-Vorgert, the Battle Lake clerk treasurer, said several parts of the project caused the bids to soar over budget. Among those parts were a fence to be set up on the part of the trail that borders the Battle Lake Municipal Airport and a culvert on a nearby road. Berg-Vorgert said both these projects and other pieces can be done at a later date but constructing the actual trail is the main priority.
“The type of fence that was in the bid spec was probably a little fancier than what was needed,” Berg-Vorgert said.
This smaller trail portion was meant to be part of a 12-mile loop from the city to the park. A trail already exists on Northshore Drive in Battle Lake, and the planned 1.5 mile part would simply connect the trail to the park.
The initial bidding process opened in July. Berg-Vorgert said the “astronomically high” prices could partially be attributed to summer being the busy season for contractors. Battle Lake has tweaked the project and will have its next bid opening on Sep. 24, where prices are expected to be more in line with expectations.
Wiersma said other trail projects are scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks, which was why it was hoped this project could finish in the fall as well. But although the city was disappointed with the delays, Berg-Vorgert said it is not a major setback.
“As long as we have bids in hand by the end of September, our grant funding is still there,” she said.
The state grant for the city portion of the project is for $43,000, according to Berg-Vorgert. The city has also raised over $100,000 on its own through several donations.
The city may still try to get some work done this fall, with dirt work and excavation two potential areas that could be worked on in the coming weeks. Berg-Vogert said it would depend both on how quickly the bid process wraps up and on the weather.