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Price tag on Indianola bike trail project jumps 41%

Des Moines Register logo Des Moines Register 5/24/2019 Teresa Kay Albertson
a sign in front of a building © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

After years of planning, Indianola will break ground this summer on a 1.5-mile extension to the Jerry Kelley Trail.

Set to open in August, the project will more than double the length of the trail and link the Summerset and McVay trails. Construction is slated to begin the week of June 17.

Indianola officials considered cancelling the project after construction bids came back substantially higher than engineers' cost estimates.

The city will pay $553,711 to design and build the trail, roughly $162,000 more than the $391,516 original cost estimate.  

The city awarded a $484,711 construction contract to Howrey Construction of Rockwell City to build the trail. 

a sign in front of a building: Indianola moves forward with trail extension despite $162,000 rise in estimated costs. © Special to the Register Indianola moves forward with trail extension despite $162,000 rise in estimated costs.

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The city will tap a parks department special revenue fund and use capital improvement dollars to complete the project. Additional funding sources include $283,000 from an Iowa Department of Transportation grant and $16,480 from the Wellmark 3-Point Play grant program.

Indianola would have lost the DOT grant if it didn't move ahead with the project, City Manager Ryan Waller said.

“The council had tabled the decision and asked the staff to confirm where the additional funds were coming from,” Waller said. “And they wanted whatever assurances we could provide that this wouldn’t threaten the Hillcrest Trail later this year.”

a circuit board: The Jerry Kelley Trail extension will connect Indianola's Wilder Elementary on the western side of town to Memorial park in the center of town. The trail will travel along Euclid Avenue, Kenwood Boulevard and Iowa Avenue. © Special to the Register The Jerry Kelley Trail extension will connect Indianola's Wilder Elementary on the western side of town to Memorial park in the center of town. The trail will travel along Euclid Avenue, Kenwood Boulevard and Iowa Avenue.

Indianola is preparing specifications for the quarter-mile Hillcrest Trail this summer. It will connect the Summerset Trail with the Summercrest Hills area where medical facilities and the YMCA are located in the northeast corner of town.

There are three sections to the Jerry Kelley Trail project, which is named for Indianola’s longest serving mayor, Jerry Kelley, who held office from 1995 to 2010.

Starting from the west, the first section will replace of an existing sidewalk on the south side of Euclid Avenue from Wilder Elementary to North Kenwood Boulevard. The replacement will widen the sidewalk to 10 feet.

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The trail will also include shared bike lanes designated on Kenwood between Euclid Avenue and West Iowa Avenue, and on West Iowa Avenue from North Kenwood Boulevard to Stephen Court. On these streets, bicycles may use the full width of both lanes. 

Traffic signage will be posted along Kenwood and Iowa, and there will also be traffic symbols painted in both directions of these streets.

The project also includes off-street pavement west of the Simpson College athletic fields to connect to Memorial Park.

“The Jerry Kelley Trail connects Wilder Elementary with the rest of the trail system,” Indianola Parks and Recreation Director Doug Bylund said. “It’s going to be a great benefit to our residents in western Indianola.”

Bylund was even more enthusiastic about plans to construct the Hillcrest Trail this summer.

“We have residents and cyclists traveling on East Hillcrest Avenue up to medical facilities and the YMCA in the Summercrest Hills area,” Bylund said. “Hillcrest is very narrow with very little shoulder. We need to get that trail in for safety reasons.”  

The Hillcrest Trail is estimated to cost $157,000. The city is expecting to go to bid for the project in June.

Teresa Kay Albertson is a lead news reporter covering Warren County for the Indianola Record Herald and the Des Moines Register. She can be reached by email at talberts@registermedia.com, by phone at 515-284-8561. Follow Teresa on Twitter @TeresaAlberts11. To subscribe to the Indianola Record Herald call 515-961-2511.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Price tag on Indianola bike trail project jumps 41%

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