Park and Rec updates: Contract awarded to fix trail slide; park projects continuing; more on proposed joint pool facility

The landslide on the River’s Edge Trail from last summer is getting repaired, funded primarily by grant funds and donations.

Last week, the City Commission awarded a $294,600 contract to Sletten Construction to repair the slide, roughly a half mile southwest of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

The slide was caused by steep slopes, unstable soils and a natural spring.

City gets $237k grant for repairs to River’s Edge Trail

For the repair, “a new sheet pile retaining wall system will be installed and anchored into the existing bedrock using helical tie-backs. A new directionally drilled culvert pipe along with an underdrain on the uphill side of the trail will drain surface water and groundwater caused by a natural spring. A fence will be installed above the retaining wall for safety. The landslide area will be re-graded to improve the stability of the embankment and drainage above and below the trail. Disturbed areas will be restored by dryland grassland seeding,” according to the staff report. “The remedial improvements will restore the trail embankment and surface back to its original condition and help prevent future landslides.”

The city received a $237,400 Missouri-Madison River Fund grant for the repair project.

Other contributions for the project include $16,300 from Northwestern Energy and $30,000 from the River’s Edge Trail Foundation, according to the city.

Section of River’s Edge Trail closed to fix drainage issues

In July, the City Commission approved a $9,000 professional services agreement with TD&H Engineering to provide geotechnical engineering services to assess the trail and provide repair options. TD&H provided design services and will perform construction inspections. City engineering staff will provide contract administration.

The city received two bids for the project. The base bids ranged from $294,600 to $318,630. Sletten was the low bidder.

Sinkhole developed in section of River’s Edge Trail

Two additive bid items were included to extend the improvements beyond the main slide area. Sletten’s bid for that additive was $40,000, but due to lack of funding, city staff did not recommend approval of that add-on.

In other Park and Recreation news, park district projects in Gibson, Elks Riverside and Jaycee parks are nearly complete.

Soil issues delayed the Gibson trail improvement a bit, but it’s almost done, according to Park and Rec staff.

The city solicited bids for irrigation improvements, but received just one that was “way, way over budget,” according to Patty Rearden, deputy Park and Rec director.

Park and Rec progressing with park district projects; trail repairs; pandemic changes

During the June 8 Park and Rec Advisory Board meeting, Rearden said staff is recommending that the City Commission reject the bid and readvertise in the fall. The price increase has been attributed to COVID-19 induced labor shortages and manufacturing plants that supply the needed parts being closed, according to staff.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a prefabricated restroom for Oddfellows Park and staff is working with a consultant to run a sewer line for the installation. The restroom is currently on a septic system.

The department is behind on a number of projects, Rearden and Parks Supervisor Lonnie Dalke said. That was due to limited shifts during pandemic restrictions and related delays in hiring temporary seasonal staff.

City continuing to pursue grant for joint, indoor pool with Malmstrom; local firms donate services for initial concept, application

During the June 8 meeting, Park and Rec staff also updated the board on the grant application for a possible joint indoor pool facility with Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Rearden said the top two sites being considered are a parcel near Loy Elementary, part of which is owned by the base, part by the city; and a parcel owned by Great Falls Public Schools next to the soccer park in the same area.

City, Malmstrom partnering for grant for potential new, joint indoor aquatics facility

Rearden said the site needs to be about five acres and they’re looking at some other pieces of city parkland as potential sites but no decisions have been made.