GLASGOW – It's been right at six years since the Glasgow Common Council voted to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program federal grant for the first phase of a multiuse path that was proposed as part of the Glasgow Alternative Transportation Endeavor and nearly five and a half years – and two mayors ago – since city officials learned Glasgow would be getting the money.

This first phase is to connect Gorin Park with Twyman Park.

Due to rules surrounding the use of federal money, e.g. environmental studies, as well as route complications that necessitated a significant change in the design, the process of obtaining rights of way and various other issues, the physical creation of the route has taken a lot longer than ever anticipated.

Construction of a revised version of that project is, finally, set to begin in the next few weeks, said April Russell, grant oversight manager for the city.

A water line cuts across and underneath the South Fork Creek from Bowen Avenue to Landrum Street, and the trail that will consist of a mixture of sidewalks, multiuse path and share-the-road segments follows a similar route but would have a bridge over the creek. It was necessary to move the water line, because it would have been underneath the abutment for the bridge, and if work on the water line were to be necessary at some point, they would have to tear out the bridge, she said.

“That should be complete middle of next week, and as soon as that's finished, construction will start,” Russell said.

Scott Young, general manager of the Glasgow Water Co., said the biggest part of the work has been done with the relocation of approximately 400 feet of 12-inch pipe.

“We went ahead and got easements and moved it about 40 feet out of the construction area, so there'd be no chance of disturbance when they built the new bridge,” he said. “It's been a very challenging project just due to the terrain and the nature of the crossing and the rock. We've had to hammer rock basically throughout the whole creek crossing.”

GWC's agreement with the city government was for the municipally owned utility to do the work as an in-kind contribution and the city is going to pay for the materials on the job, which cost about $23,000. Young said he doesn't have a final tally on what the labor and equipment costs are for that contribution, because the work order hasn't been closed out yet, but he estimated it would be in excess of $20,000.

“We have pumped it up and tested it. Now all we've got to do is tie it over and connect it to the existing line and abandon the section that we're taking out of service,” he said.

That project in preparation for the bigger project started about 10 days to two weeks ago, he said, and he anticipates they will probably be able to finish the relocation next week, weather permitting.

“This rain's kind of had us at a standstill,” Young said.

Russell said she didn't know of anything else that had to be done before construction on the path could start. The call to 811 has been made to have the location of other underground utility lines marked, for example.

She said she understands that some people may believe at this point that it's never going to get done.

“Nobody wants it done more than I do,” she said.

The city has obtained extensions on the original grants, she said, and it had to ask for more money because the bids for the construction came in a little higher than the engineers' estimates. The project's overall price tag is roughly $1.2 million, with a little more than a million dollars of that being for the construction itself and the bridge element being the costliest portion of it, Russell said.

From along the southern edge of Gorin Park, a crosswalk with signage and flashing lights will be put into place crossing East Main Street over to Carnation Drive, she said. New sidewalks with drainage will be built along Carnation and up Bowen, and then there's the bridge and more sidewalk. A lot of the rest of it, she said, is just share-the-road, because there wasn't enough space along there to install sidewalks or widen the street.

The second phase of the trail plan, which was also awarded funding through the same type of grant, is planned to go between Twyman Park and U.S. 31-E Bypass. Russell said that project is still pending some rights of way.

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