Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mayor Jenks' City Talk Column - Oct. 15, 2011

Grand Opening
of Deible Loop
Bike Path, Oct. 19
The culmination of five years of planning, designing, and constructing the 1.75-mile-long Deible Loop Pedestrian Bike Path has resulted in yet another significant addition to the City’s 12-mile Pedestrian Bike Path Network.
And although the trail has been a great addition to the City’s Parks system and in use by the public and recreation enthusiasts for quite some time, it only seems appropriate to invite the public to a Grand Opening and Dedication of the trail on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. The family-friendly event will be held next to the trail on Lions Club Drive just west of the juncture of Lions Club Drive and Southview Drive.
The Public Works Department, together with the Parks and Recreation Department, and Fit Helps have partnered to host this grand opening during one of the most scenic times of the year. The event will begin with a brief program that will include recognition of everyone who played a vital role in the completion of this project, including the City’s Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Maggi Construction, faculty and students at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Fit Helps.  
In addition to a ribbon cutting ceremony that will be coordinated by the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors, there will also be a bicycle safety and bicycle etiquette presentation by Dennis Noel, Triathlete, and VIPS (Volunteer in Police Service) volunteer; and free give-aways and healthy snacks and refreshments provided by Fit Helps and the City of Rolla. Fit Helps will also be coordinating a Family and Fun Bicycle Ride following the dedication that everyone is invited to participate in. Please bring your bicycles and don’t forget your helmets.
The City’s pedestrian and bike path trail system, one of the great treasures in our community, continues to expand thanks in part to a partnership between the City’s Public Works Department and the Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety (C.T.I.S.) and Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies (C.I.E.S.) at Missouri University of Science and Technology.   For more than a year and a half the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments worked diligently designing the Deible Loop Pedestrian Bike Path with assistance from students, faculty and staff at Missouri S&T. Two large state-of-the-art concrete pedestrian bridges were installed at two different crossings on the Deible Branch. Public Works Director Steve Hargis, together with the City’s Engineering staff lead by Darrell Jones, Sr. Project Coordinator, and Anne McClay, Project Coordinator, worked together on the design and construction of the pedestrian bridge portion since October 2008 with Kurt Bloch, a Civil Engineering graduate student at Missouri S&T, Dr. John J. Myers an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T, and Jason Cox, Sr. Research Specialist with the C.I.E.S. at Missouri S&T. Bloch and Dr. Myers took on the Deible Loop Bike Path Pedestrian bridge project as a research project that involves the use of innovative construction materials. The research team installed monitoring equipment that was placed inside the bridge structures to assist them in assessing pre-stress loss, thermal gradient, and basically how well the bridge will perform in the field for years to come.
Construction and installation of the two concrete pedestrian bridges also involved the efforts of the City’s Construction Department lead by Foreman Bill Cochran and Equipment Operators Jeff Grisham and Chris Palmer. The large multi-ton concrete slabs were put into place by Gene Gabriele, III, Director of Operations with Gabriele Crane Rental, Inc. based in Rolla.
The completion of the Deible Loop Trail is yet another great example of the kind of projects that can be accomplished with the coordination and partnering of various institutions, businesses and organizations. All of the signage located along the Deible Loop Trail, for instance, was designed and funded by Fit Phelps. The signs were then assembled and installed by the City’s Parks and Recreation staff, who helped clear trees along the trail, and who maintain it, along with eight additional miles along the City’s trail network on a weekly basis – including trash pick-up, mowing, weed-eating, tree trimming, and routine maintenance.
In closing, I’d like to mention another community event that is just around the corner. The 4th annual “Operation Neighborhood Clean-up” will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 in the area referred to as the Huffman Trailer Park and Johnson/Laird sub-division located near the corner of Pinetree Road and Hwy. 72. All volunteers are asked to attend the welcome gathering at 6:30 a.m. at Carpenter’s Union Hall located at Hwy. 72 and Richard Dr.  A complimentary breakfast will be provided. The clean-up will take place from 7 a.m. to 12-noon.
The entire community is invited to participate in this beautification effort, which is once again being coordinated by the Rolla Area Ministerial Alliance and the Rolla Police Department.  Operation Neighborhood Clean-up is an opportunity for residents to partner with the Rolla Area Ministerial Alliance, community churches such as Greentree Christian Church, the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and the Rolla Police Department to enhance the neighborhood’s sense of community and increase property values. The clean-up effort will involve tree trimming, hedge trimming, and the removal of brush piles, household items and trash
Groups or individuals interested in volunteering for Operation Neighborhood Clean-up should contact Chris Foster, Associate Minister at Greentree Christian Church, at 364-2649 or, or Officer Vince Giacolone at the Rolla Police Department at 308-1213 or at
Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and have a safe week!

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