Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Building Bridges for a better future

By Mayor Bill Jenks, III
Pedestrian bike paths continue to rank very high on citizen surveys in Rolla, and folks will be pleased to know the recent completion of the Coventry Park bridge and Coventry Park trail add yet another ¼ mile in length to the City’s 13-mile pedestrian bikepath network. 
Although Coventry Park, located near Pinetree Road on the east side of Rolla, is not quite as visible as some of the community’s larger parks such as Ber Juan Park or Schuman Park, it is non-the-less a beautiful area that adds greatly to the neighborhood and surrounding area. To say the 32-foot long by 10-foot-wide bridge and eight-foot-wide trail are a nice addition to Coventry Park would be an understatement. The bridge gives access, recreational opportunities and peace of mind to walkers, bikers, runners, strollers, and anyone who would like to spend quality time in one of the City’s quality parks. 
It was, and always is an uplifting experience to participate in one of the City’s dedication ceremonies where I see how much hard work, collaboration, creativity and initiative go into a project such as the Coventry Trail bridge and Coventry Trail. While we were all enjoying the beautiful setting of the bridge and trail, we saw young adults riding their bikes across the bridge and young men running across the bridge and down the trail to Pinetree Road. Watching members of our community enjoy the new trail and bridge was even more gratifying as it was unmistakable how useful the trail is, and how much it has already added to the community’s quality of life. Fitness and wellness, and a quiet place to enjoy nature are all by-products of this newly completed project, and I encourage others to venture over to Coventry Park some weekend or weekday and see how this project has opened up an otherwise inaccessible area. 
The project was coordinated by the City’s Public Works Department, which, after a successful presentation by the City’s Engineering Division and Communications Office, was funded through a $100,000 Federal Highway Administration Transportation Grant administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). I would like to extend a special thanks to Anne McClay, Project Coordinator; Darrell Jones, Senior Project Coordinator; Everett Briggs, Project Coordinator and Steve Hargis, Director of Public Works for all of their design work, value engineering, and collaboration with Maggi Construction. Maggi ordered and installed the bridge and constructed a second culvert and the Coventry trail, and I’d like to express my appreciation to Dennis Spurgeon, Vice President, for a job well done. I’d also like to express my appreciation to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the opportunity to complete this project with the generous funding provided through their organization. 
I thought it was very fitting that we dedicated Coventry Bridge and Coventry Trail on Arbor Day, and the week before Local Government Week kicked off. The bridge and trail will be maintained by the City of Rolla Parks and Recreation Department, which maintains all of the trails in the City’s pedestrian bikepath network. I think you would agree that the project reflects how our City employees continuously strive to build bridges for a better future.  Enjoy the weekend, and have a safe week.

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