Trail repair to use compressed sandMay 1, 2016 From staff reports
Wind River Job Corps will lead the construction effort with the alternative material, which has been used successfully elsewhere in Wyoming.
An experimental approach to maintaining Riverton's recreational trails is moving forward as reconstruction work is set to begin this week on the southernmost section of the Darcie Zimmer Memorial Trail.
The trail parallels North 8th Street West. Reconstruction work will impact the trail from Sunset Drive to Webwood Road.
The plan is to create a trail similar to those in Buffalo. The northern Wyoming community has moved away from asphalt and concrete pathways and is, instead, using compressed reject sands for its trail surfaces.
The compressed sand surface is preferred by trail users and is significantly less expensive to build and maintain, according to Les Hook, Buffalo's public works director.
Go Fremont County, a non-profit organization interested in promoting recreation in the area, is facilitating the rebuild effort, and has raised funds privately to support trail reconstruction.
Several partners have worked with Go Fremont County. The Wind River Job Corps Center will lead the construction effort.
"Job Corps is excited to be a community partner on this project. This is a real-world experience for our students and shows the importance of giving back to our community," said James Armstrong, lead instructor at Wind River Job Corps.
The Fremont County's Department of Transportation is coordinating the delivery of the sand, which will come from a Wyoming Department of Transportation pit in Lander.
The Fremont County Commissioners have twice indicated their support for the reconstruction effort and will consider the final agreement Tuesday, which will clear the way for Go Fremont County to purchase the sand and compensate Fremont County for delivery expenses.
The City of Riverton also is assisting and will provide construction signage for the project. Heavy equipment and materials will be staged in the lot across the street and north of the U.S. Energy building. U.S. Energy has agreed to allow the lot to be used.
"We'll see if this is a good approach to maintain and fix a trail that has been ignored for decades and is showing its age," said Tracy Blumenshine of Go Fremont County. "We feel it is worth it to try, because the trail is important for our community and should be enjoyable and safe for walkers, runners and bike riders."
More than $500,000 would be needed to replace or repair the trail with asphalt. To redo the entire trail using compressed sand should cost less than $20,000 according to Go Fremont County.
The reconstructed section of the trail should be complete before Memorial Day. During reconstruction, the section of the trail between Sunset Drive and Webwood Road will not be available for recreational users.
The pathway was created in the memory of Darcie Marie Zimmer, a 15-year-old girl who died Aug. 21, 1983, after being hit by a vehicle while riding her bike on North 8th West.