TREC Board Awards Phase 3 of Trail Network


Published on August 12 2013 2:34 pm
Last Updated on August 12 2013 3:05 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Trail Recreation Effingham County (TREC) board members Monday awarded a contract for Phase 3 of the trail network.

TREC Board President Frank Brummer said the almost two-mile project would double the length of the trail.  The project will also include two parking areas and a bridge spanning a large ravine.  Brummer said the bridge will resemble a railroad trestle and said while it won't be nicer than the Ryan's Crossing bridge elsewhere along the trail, "It will be just as nice."

A.J. Walker Construction of Mattoon was awarded the project, and TREC board members again Monday, as they did when the matter was discussed in February, agreed to guarantee the local match on the work of more than $200,000.  A groundbreaking on the project is set for August 29 at noon.

The TREC Board celebrated the work completed along US 40 from the Effingham High School parking lot to Outer Belt West, and the news that the Effingham City Council has agreed to seek state grant funds for striping of bike lanes from Evergreen Hollow to Hendelmeyer Parks with an easterly extension to Community Park.

Brummer said the bike/pedestrian bridge over I-57/70 north of Fayette Avenue should be open this fall, and reported that work on Phase 4 of the trail network is in the engineering phase.  The project would run Calico Trail under Outer Belt West to the existing trail to minimize the need to cross Outer Belt West at the south end of the existing trail.

TREC Board Vice-President Bill Austin reported on the completion of an acquisition of a 53-acre tract of land adjoining Ryan's Crossing.  Austin said the plan has been to develop a nature park on the property, which was acquired from two trusts set up by the late Joe and Suzette Brumleve for $143,950.  He said TREC officials are looking for someone who could manage or minimally develop the area with nature trails, picnic tables and the like.

Two $50,000 gifts were received to help with the purchase cost and the remaining $43,950 was borrowed.  Austin said the money involved was not earmarked for trail construction.  He said there are rough walking trails, and said horseback riding is an option on the property.

TREC Board members heard from Treasurer Ken Vogt that TREC took in about $57,000 more than it spent during the past year.  Also in financial news, the Shumway Fire Protection District's Bash is set for this coming year at Witt's this Friday.  A portion of the proceeds will go towards equipment to be used along the TREC trail.  Shumway firefighters also plan to help with the removal of some trees beneath the Ryan's Crossing bridge.