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Riverwalk paving expected to start soon

Jun 17, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Depot Foundation has worked on creating a recreation path along the Wind River for more than five years.

Local volunteers have been working this spring to develop the "Riverwalk" pathway along the Wind River in south Riverton.

Alan Moore, president of Riverton's Depot Foundation, said the path being built between the Rails-to-Trails system and South Federal Boulevard has been brought up to grade.

"They have scooped up every ounce of topsoil they can find and put it into the grading of that handicapped-accessible trail," Moore said. "It's supposed to be paved as soon as the weather is warm."

He said the pathway was being compacted last week in preparation for paving.

Moore plans to use about $2,000 from First Interstate Bank to install a water line on the Riverwalk property that will support the growth of trees and other landscaping elements in the future. The Depot Foundation will match the grant, and the local Lions Club has volunteered to do the physical labor.

"We'll buy the materials, and they basically will put in a (water line) for drip irrigation so they can plant the 100 or so trees they're going to be getting," Moore said.

A work group including about 14 high schoolers from Trinity Lutheran Church also plans to help with the planting.

Moore said about $6,100 has been acquired from the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board to build additional pathways on the Riverwalk property and perhaps install steel chairs and tables on rest pads along the paved pathway.

The Depot Foundation has worked on creating a path along the river for more than five years. The parcel now includes about 195 acres on both sides of the Wind River.

In August 2013 the city dipped into its general fund reserves to pay for pathway construction at the site. The Riverton City Council awarded a $290,000 bid for the work to Dave's Asphalt, though engineers estimate the total cost of the project to be roughly $314,000.

The Depot Foundation offered an additional $50,000 to contribute to the project, which is funded by a $150,000 Transportation Enhancement Activities Local grant from the Wyoming Department of Transportation secured in 2010.

City administrator Steven Weaver said the city could not request a third extension or additional funds for the work.

The city has requested and been granted two extensions, Weaver said -- one for an environment assessment that needed to be done before a consultant could be selected, and the other so city staff could do some work at the Riverwalk to save money. City officials said costs had grown beyond expectations due to a large amount of fill dirt that was needed at the property.

The city placed large fills and installed culverts; staff said this contribution will be used as the city's match to the grant.

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