City gets moving on Walnut Springs trail expansion project

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Main News Photo

Joe Martin The Seguin Gazette

 

Seguin residents with love for the great outdoors are slated to have even more reasons to break a sweat on one of the city’s trails.

City Council recently approved a bid awarding $5 million to Myers Concrete Construction for an extension of the Walnut Springs Hike and Bike Trail.

The construction will include 3,000 feet of 10-foot multi-use trail from the Ruby P. Vaughan Walnut Springs Bridge to Max Starcke Park East, according to a memo to the city council.

The city received four bids for the construction project ranging from the lowest bid of about $3.9 million from MAC, Inc. to the highest bid of about $5.9 million from Capital Excavation, the memo read.

“We recommend awarding the contract to Myers Construction based on favorable references and experience with similar projects,” City Engineer David Rabago said. “I would like to note that the apparent low bidder withdrew their bid shortly after the bid opening.”

The initial bids received by the city were higher than expected when the city submitted its application to expand the walking trail to the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Rabago said.

“We anticipated the [bids] being around $3.1 [million] when the application was submitted to the MPO,” Rabago said. “After going through the bid process, it came in just over $2 million above the cost estimate that was submitted to the MPO.”

The hike in price was inevitable as several additions were made to the project not presented within the original estimates, Seguin City Manager Steve Parker said.

“There’s a few things in that original estimate [like] lighting and a couple of things that weren’t in the original $3.1[million] that did get added on in the future,” he said.

Among those additions was a 500-foot loop trail near Goodrich Street to help alleviate safety concerns over an incline that could cause problems, Parker said. The steep rise in the trail was noted by the Texas Department of Transportation, the Alamo Area MPO and the city’s engineers.

“It would meet ADA accessibility, so you could do it — but they were concerned with the safety aspect of it,” he said.

Once the trail is complete, it will total about four miles in length one way, Seguin Parks and Recreation Director Jack Jones said.

“For all those fundraiser groups that are earning money by doing all of their 5Ks and their group fitness and everything else, they’re going to have an excellent opportunity to stay local to have a great trail to walk on, run on or bike on,” Councilwoman Fonda Mathis said.

The increasing popularity of the disk golf course in Starcke Park East, combined with the trail expansion, will provide even more reason for folks to visit Seguin looking for outdoor activities, Councilman Jeremy Roy said.

“I can’t tell you how important walking and jogging is in this day and time and if it’s done in such a beautiful and pleasant atmosphere as Walnut Branch, my goodness, that’s gonna bring people in,” Seguin Mayor Don Keil said. “I know people are going to use it, and it’s really just a wonderful thing for the community.”

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com

Category: City Council, City of Seguin, news

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