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Walking trail gets off to a running start

A safe walking trail in Kenmare is just a few thousand dollars away from becoming a reality this summer.

4/14/10 (Wed)

By Caroline Downs

 A safe walking trail in Kenmare is just a few thousand dollars away from becoming a reality this summer.
 
The Scenic Trail Committee reported last week that $110,000 has been promised so far toward the $155,000 estimated cost of Phase 0 of the project, a paved walkway to be funded completely from local sources.
 
“We have $50,000 pledged from the Kenmare Veteran’s Club, and we have $50,000 pledged from Fund-ITT,” said committee spokesperson Fay Froseth. “We’re two-thirds there!”
 
In addition, the Park Board last week promised $10,000 to the committee.
 
This first portion of a larger trail system for the community would create a loop starting at the intersection of Ward County 2 and U.S. Highway 52, run south along 7th Avenue in front of the high school property, turn east along the ball diamonds, and then head northwest along the highway. The length of this trail segment is just short of a mile.
 
The school district has made arrangements to deed property needed for Phase 0 of the trail to the city of the Kenmare, and Harris Construction has agreed to handle construction. The North Dakota Department of Transportation has also been contacted about the trail proposal along that segment of U.S. Highway 52.
 
Froseth described the loop as completely safe, with no intersections to cross. “If kids stay on that path, they would never have an issue with a car,” she said. She noted the trail’s proximity to the football field and ball diamonds, where families and kids busy with other activities might want to enjoy a walk during a lull in the action.
 
“We’ve picked the perfect place,” Froseth said. “There’s not a lot of digging up and rebuilding of the soil that needs to be done. It’ll be great for future walk-a-thons or the St. Jude’s Trike-a-thon. The Phy. Ed classes can use it, and it’s a place for the track team to practice.”
 
The trail should appeal to walkers of all ages, including school children, daycare kids and visitors in town. The loop will have accessible points for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles, and the 10-foot wide asphalt path will accommodate a variety of needs in the community.
 
The Scenic Trail Committee has applied for grant money from the North Dakota Transportation Enhancement Program to build more sections of the trail, but they won’t know anything about their current request until October.
 
Because of engineering requirements associated with federal grant money, costs for the rest of the trail could run $250,000 to $500,000 per mile.
 
Another three phases of the trail are being considered, including a segment out to the Kenmare Country Club and a section to create safe walkways to the downtown square. Construction of the entire system could extend through the next few years.
 
In the meantime, the committee would like to get on the schedule with Harris Construction and have the first segment ready for the public to use this summer.
 
Any individual or organization interested in donating to the first loop of the trail project is encouraged to contact Fay or Terry Froseth at 701-385-4275.
 
“The trail system will be owned by the community,” Froseth said. “We hope, in return, the community will support us and help us get that last $45,000 we need for this part of the project.”