Kalispell taking bids for trail and road addition project

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The city of Kalispell is seeking a contractor to help facilitate future plans for a trail network and a new north-south street as phase 2 of a $20 million municipal infrastructure package that began with the construction of Glacier Rail Park.

The city has put out a request for qualifications to design and implement plans for the project in accordance with the city’s Core Area Plan that was adopted in 2012.

The proposed trail system would run two blocks south of U.S. 2 and span the length of town. The additional north-south transportation corridor location is to be determined.

The work entails designing the trails and street, collecting and incorporating public input, performing required engineering and design studies, making sure any contaminated properties along the proposed trail system are adequately cleaned up, acquiring right-of-way for the project and administering bids for construction.

It is not guaranteed, but it is likely that any firm selected would also oversee the construction project through to completion, said Katharine Thompson, assistant director of community and economic development with the city.

Right now, the city only has six north-south transportation corridors in a 1.6-mile swath that has been identified as the core area.

“That’s probably 10 fewer than you would typically see in that 1.6-mile area of the city,” Thompson said.

Adding these trails and another north-south street would hopefully ease traffic congestion, Thompson said. The city has allotted about $4 million for this phase of the project, only part of which will be for design. Construction will likely eat up the larger share of the funds.

Interested organizations are to submit a cover letter, statement of their qualifications, resume, references, and other materials to city hall by 5 p.m. on Feb. 22. More details can be found on www.kalispell.com.

Funds for both phases of the multimillion-dollar project come from a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation meant to build infrastructure in areas that will lead to economic recovery and another $11 million chunk from the city’s Westside Core Area Tax Increment Finance District.

The Glacier Rail Park is expected to be completed before the year is out.

Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or pfrissell@dailyinterlake.com.

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