City moving forward with Riverfront trail extensionPublished 10:47am Tuesday, February 23, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
After receiving 10 bids from construction companies for the Riverfront Park walking trail extension, the Niles City Council has approved the lowest bid from Jaran Construction Co. of Allegan.
The project will extend the trail length 0.68 miles between the north and south ends to a total of 2.24 miles.
The bid was for $294,745, and the board approved the bid unanimously. Jaran Construction has never done work for the city before but received positive reviews from Portage, Kalamazoo and Lansing. The bids were lower than what City Administrator Terry Eull originally anticipated, around $350,000.
The project will be funded by a $170,500 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant and the city’s revolving loan fund.
Work is expected to start in April at the north end of the trail where the trail will be extended to Plym Park.
The project was originally slated to begin last year, but a delay occurred in obtaining an easement from Indiana Michigan Power Co. Then in January, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources notified the city that the area of the expansion might include prairie trillium, a “state threatened” plant, possibly further delaying the project. But Wendy Jones of Fernwood Botanical Garden offered to perform a study for free to determine if conditions are suitable for the plant to grow.
“It’s just an addition to an already heavily used park,” Eull said in December. “I’m sure the people that use the park will be very pleased to have more room to walk.”