There’s exciting news happening at Trexler and the new trail that will replace Killdozer. Over the past week we have heard from the several land managers at the park and from the game commission, which is overseeing the autumn olive removal process.
Most importantly, we’ve been given a 27-acre parcel between the end of Brian’s trail and Broken Arrow on which a new trail can be built. Land managers are supportive of building a trail that is similar in style to Killdozer and will pay for a profession trail firm to design the trail. We are also exploring using DCNR grant money to fund construction as well.
The design process is starting now and should take through the fall and early winter. Depending the extent of the design, and whether we will be using grant money, we could begin building next spring!
The first step of the process is for the county to put out an RFP (request for proposal) to send out to potential trail design firms as soon as possible. This is an exciting and important step toward getting a new trail designed and built. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.
Everyone from the county executive to director of Lehigh County parks has shown support for building something that is safe and responsible but also pee-your-pants fun.
The county will handle most of the documentation for the RFP, including requirements for permits and costs, but asked that we provide a description for the type of trail we want that will be used to help guide the process and provide a framework for the designers. A group of VMB leaders and Trex trail stewards are working on this now, but we also want your input. If you have a killer suggestion or idea, post it in the comments by Monday and we’ll try to incorporate it to the short description that is cohesive, achievable, and representative of a trail we all want to ride.
As for timeline: Once we provide this to the county, which should happen in the next week, they will put together the full RFP, and send it to the county purchasing agent to approve and put out for bids. That could happen as soon as October, but might take longer.
Two other updates: The county was receptive to applying for DCNR grants to cover construction. Grants add complexity and possible delays to the process, but it’s an exciting opportunity to have something world-class built. We’ll want to include requests for cost estimates in the RFP, and start pursuing grant options through IMBA and DCNR—if that door opens, we want to be ready to step through quickly.
Finally, we just received an update from the county, Wildlands, and the game commission on autumn olive removal. The contractor is currently re-mulching sections of AO that had not been chopped to spec the first time and expects to start cutting new areas shortly, moving from south to north, and have the entire project done before winter conditions arrive. Moving that direction is good in that it guarantees the 27-acre section where we’ve been given to build the new trail will be clear of AO before the winter, but also means that Killdozer needs to remain closed.
Rob Takacs from Fitness Central is organizing TrexxxFest again this year, with the help of a lot of great people. He will have a date for that soon, and we’ll make sure it’s another fun exciting race.
We’ll keep everyone posted on future news and possible temporary trail closures as machines remove autumn olive near existing trails.