Phase 3 of TREC Trail Project to be Let for Bids

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Published on September 13 2012 2:35 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Phase 3 of the Effingham Country TREC trail network is to be let for bids soon, meaning that an effort to raise local funds to match a state grant to pay for the project needs to gain momentum.

TREC Board President Frank Brummer noted the progress already made and encouraged the Board to bring in other partners to keep the project moving forward.  Brummer highlighted the agreement to complete a stretch of the trail from the Effingham High School outdoor sports complex to Outer Belt West, and work that's underway on the West Evergreen trail connecting the north end of Calico Trail to Outer Belt West.

Brummer is also excited about the upcoming pedestrian bridge that will span Interstates 57 and 70 just north of the Fayette Avenue interchange.  He said one support in place in the median of the interstate stands as a marker reminding area residents that the trail network will be connected with the rest of the city.

As to Phase 3, the trail section will span from Phase 2 of the network west to Kingwood Estates and from Nazarene Church Road west to the Hilltop Estates access road.   Brummer said the phase has a price tag of $1.5 million.  The grant promised totals $1.2 million meaning $300,000 in local matching funds are needed.  Fund Drive Committee member Brad Beesley said $82,300 in pledges and donations are in place, leaving the group needing $217,700 to complete the match.  Brummer said there are very few communities that will "stick out their necks like this" to obtain grants by promising to come up with the matching funds.

(A LOOK AT WHAT'S BEEN COMPLETED ON THE TREC TRAIL NETWORK AND WILL PHASE 3 WILL FIT IN, WHICH IS THE TWO REDDISH-ORANGE SEGMENTS)

Brummer hopes Phase 3 will be let for bids in January.  He also hopes each TREC Board member will take two families to the trail in an effort to gain their support.

In the meantime, the TREC Board Thursday voted to approve a $41,000 loan from Crossroads Bank.  Board Vice-President Bill Austin said the group will only draw down the funds if necessary.

TREC Board members got information from Amanda McKay and Catherine Bailey of Helen Matthes Library and Jane Austin of the TREC Board about the 1st Annual Scarecrow Festival on September 23 where families and other teams will decorate scarecrows that will be left along the trail during the Halloween season.  It's a fundraiser for the library, but also promises good exposure for the trail network.

There was also information about efforts by the Shumway Fire Protection District to raise funds to pay for a six-wheeler vehicle that can travel the TREC trails to gain access those who might have medical needs along the trails.  The department raised $6,000 during a recent fundraiser at Witt's and have a total of $10,000 on hand toward a goal of $18,000.

Information was also shared on a photo of the trail on the front of one of the local phone books, on the website for TREC now up and running, and the next trail walk set for October 20 at 6pm starting from the Effingham Performance Center.