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City pursues grant for Crooked Crane Trail

The City of Dickinson has applied for an Outdoor Heritage Fund grant for Phase 2 of the Crooked Crane Trail project.

City Commissioners authorized City Engineer Craig Kubas to pursue the funds at their Sept. 25 meeting.

KLJ Engineering estimates the section of trail, off West Broadway Street, along Dickinson Dike and Patterson Lake, will cost roughly $1.25 million, Kubas told commissioners.

"It's a project we've been discussing at the task force level for the last year or so," he said.

The section of trail would follow along the railroad right-of-way.

The railroad requires a 50-foot separation from the tracks, Kubas said. This will be achieved by creating a buffer between the track and its maintenance road.

"Our path would start 50 feet from the centerline of the tracks," Kubas said. "This obviously would involve some fill into the lake. I think you could also make some nice amenities out there, too."

The cost of the fill for the lake will be the most costly element, Kubas said.

"There's a couple of culverts to extend," he said. "This was a major hurdle we've looked at for years and years now, and this seems to be the path it's all coming together."

The path itself will be 10-foot wide and concrete.

This was chosen over asphalt due to constructability issues, Kubas said.

"With some of the areas we're getting into, asphalt paving I think was not impossible, but pretty difficult," he said. "Gravel trail...doesn't give that feel of a city trail. The other section of the trail is concrete."

Long-term maintenance, such as routine seal coatings, would be difficult there as well, Kubas said.

A floating bridge was proposed, Kubas said, but rejected, due to weather conditions such as wind storms and freezing temperatures.

Mayor Scott Decker supported the decision to use concrete.

"Getting certain pieces of equipment into certain parts of those trails is going to be almost impossible, and it will be cost prohibitive," Decker said.

The Outdoor Heritage Fund requires a 25 percent local match for the project, Kubas said, at roughly $400,000 from the city.

The city has $350,000 budgeted for trails this year, with possible carryover from last year to make up the difference.

Engineering costs can also be used as portion of local match, Kubas said.

A parking lot at the trailhead, off the State Avenue Bridge, is not being proposed right now.

"The trailhead, as it would be, it would connect into the 10 foot trail that comes off the State Avenue Bridge, right at the end of Palm Beach Road," Kubas said. "This is essentially right at the underpass of the new bridge."

Turtle Park, at that section of the trail, has a parking area, and more space is available at fishing pier.

Decker suggested designating an area so there is no confusion. Kubas said this could be done with some signage.