POINT PLEASANT — The walking trail improvement project at Krodel Park is underway.
As of Monday, the improvements on the walking trail began by contractors Kanawha Stone said Bob Rulen, chairmen of the Walking Trail Committee. The workers began work at the launch ramp. Rulen commented the estimated time for completion is four to five weeks, depending on weather conditions.
The walking trail is going to be widened and be paved with asphalt.
All of the committee members stayed on to bring this project full circle said Rulen. Members being Rulen, Diane Riddle, Kenneth Boyles, Roger McKinney, Becky Wood, Darlene Haer, and Ron Durst.
Rulen explained in 2014 the committee applied for a $150,000 federal grant through the West Virginia Department of Highways.
Rulen said the grant was awarded as a $120,000 grant with a $30,000 match required. Board members of the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation granted the committee with a $30,000 match for the project.
Several factors had to be looked into before the project could start, explained Rulen. A survey of the land had to be done, environmental checks had to be completed, and special equipment would be needed during the construction work. All the while, the cost of asphalt had to be kept in consideration.
Rulen said an estimated bid for the project was given to the committee at a little over $118,000.
In August of 2017, the project was put out for bidding for the first time. The two contractors who answered the bids were asking a high cost explained Rulen, so the bidding went out for a second time.
The same two contractors answered the bids, so the West Virginia Department of Highways met with those contractors.
Rulen explained a deal was made if the committee could get an additional match of $17,000, the West Virginia Department of Highways would secure the rest of the funding. The Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation stepped in to pay the $17,000 for the project.
The total cost of the project is approximated at $297,000. Rulen commented all funds raised were of no expense to the City of Point Pleasant, Mason County, or the residents. He explained the assistance from the Claflin Foundation was extremely instrumental in helping this project along and the project would not be where it is today without the support of the Claflin foundation.
Rulen added benches have also been donated to the committee by 4-H clubs to put along the trail.
Stephen Littlepage, Claflin Foundation president, commented, “My hope is that people will make use of it and I think they will…I think it will be a great enhancement to the community and I am looking forward to the project being done.”
Littlepage shared the board members of the Claflin Foundation will support the upkeep and maintenance of the walking trail.
Wood commented the project received a lot of support from the community, the City of Point Pleasant, and the Point Pleasant City Council.
Riddle explained the walking trail will be beneficial to the community for exercise. Community members can go out and exercise at no cost. Wood added marathon holders can utilize the trail for their events as well.
The committee members also said once the initial improvements are complete, they are looking into adding in stretching stations and exercise equipment.
A dedication ceremony will be held once the improvements to the walking trail are made, naming the trail The Robert and Louise Claflin Walking Trail.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.