This summer, you can expect to see construction along about 3.5 miles of the Provo River Trail.
The $3.2 million project will include upgrades to five bridges and crossings, additional lighting, repaving and widening, Thomas McKenna, project coordinator for Provo Parks and Recreation, told the city council this month. The goals are to increase safety on the trail, increase capacity and accessibility, as well as provide more comfortable and safer tunnels and crossings.
And in addition to the $3.2 million budgeted by Provo, which is coming from Recreation, Arts and Parks tax funding and impact fees, it’s applying for a Municipal Recreation Grant from Utah County, for $59,757.17.
So on Tuesday, the council approved submitting the grant application. The grant money comes from restaurant taxes collected by the county. Cities are eligible for an amount based on their population.
Because of rapidly increasing construction costs, including material and labor, the city needs what’s already been budgeted plus this grant amount to complete the project, McKenna said. In the past, this grant money has been used to build the stairs at Lion’s Park, the parking lot at Pioneer Village and dugouts and more at Fort Utah Park.
McKenna said improving the Provo River Trail is a priority for Provo residents. The city last paved this section in 1998, when the use and needs were different. “Edges of the trail are in bad condition, and this will change that drastically,” he said.
Other parts of the trail are narrow — only 5 to 6 feet wide. Also, the pavement is uneven and damaged from use, with sharp curves at turns. Tunnels through this area also are narrow with low clearance, and the lighting isn’t ideal.
Other planned improvements include:
- Accessible and improved transitions to crossing pathways, streets, ramps and sidewalks
- Improved directional way-finding signage
- Bike racks to accommodate alternative transportation
- Enhanced connections to neighborhoods
- Improved accessibility for special event and group use
McKenna said the city will have “good portion” of the project done in the fall.