The latest phase of the city's Greenway Trail project is under construction near the transient boat dock, but it's running behind schedule due to rain and an unusually high Ohio River.
Phase IV, which connects the trail from Campbell Street to Schultz Park, was intended to take 90 days to build and to be complete by Aug. 23. Contractor Youngblood Excavating and Contracting, LLC has encountered difficulties with flooding, however, and the completion date will likely be pushed to September, City Engineer and Public Works Director Rick Murphy said.
"I don't know what's going on, but in all my time being here, there was only one time we had a 30-foot river in July, and that was in 2015," Murphy said. "This makes it the second time."
The river is typically around 16 feet in July, but it was resting at 28.5 feet as of the interview with Murphy last Friday -- down from 30 feet earlier this month, he said.
The project will use paint-on asphalt to extend the path of the Greenway Trail from the top of Campbell Street, along the floodwall right-of-way, across the parking lot behind the riverfront Holiday Inn and to the south end of the former Showroom Lounge, Murphy said.
A path consisting of about 1,700 feet of stamped concrete will begin at the old lounge, leading trail users to the new riverfront project adjacent to the city's transient boat dock. Several thousand feet of concrete sidewalks will also be added to connect walkways near the boat dock and Schultz Park.
"We're finally connecting some of these sidewalks to nowhere," City Information Officer Pam Spencer said.
The "bump-out" area, which features a stone revetment and several unconnected sidewalks, has looked unfinished, she added, because it is. The city has used grant money as it's become available to connect the various pieces of the project.
The city authorized a $475,619 contract with Youngblood on April 9 for the completion of this phase. The city also received a $520,000 Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, grant to help fund this portion of the project, Spencer said.
Other features of this phase include two shelters identical to those already present on other portions of the Greenway, as well as additional lighting. Decorative stamping will be applied to the 1,700 feet of concrete path that constitutes the 10-foot-wide trail, Murphy added.
The last phase of the Greenway Trail with specific plans, he said, is Phase V. That portion of the project will take the trail from the riverfront to Jefferson Street. Its features include improvements to Schultz Park, an archway structure, additional parking, lighting, seating and landscaping, the city's website states.