August 1, 1997
UW-RF Receives Money Approval For Inter-Campus Trail
by: Maria Rohl-Franco
UWRF News Bureau
The UW-River Falls campus, in collaboration with the city of River Falls, recently received funding and the final OK to begin construction on a 9,000-foot long, eight-foot wide, inter-campus transportation trail.
The trail is intended for walking and biking transportation, to and through campus for students and community residents. The primary design is for transportation, not recreation, however, according to Campus Planner Dale Braun, "You can't hardly walk along the South Fork River and not notice its beauty and recreational aspects."
The initiation for the project came from the fact that almost 500 students live in the vacinity of West Johnson Street at the south end of town. " These students either walk the long, cold trail through the Knowles area, or walk down Main Street, or drive to class, which is also poses parking problems," said Braun. "Other paths have been found or made down steep hills that could potentially be dangerous. To me, the importance is in having a safer trail for the students."
In 1994, the campus requested a grant from the State Department of Transportation for the trail project; $401,000 was received, which constituted about 80 percent of the construction costs.
Three funding sources came up with the remaining 20 percent for construction, plus additional money for engineering and designing of the trail. The Department of Natural Resources gave $70,000, and the UW-RF Foundation gave $35,000.
The toughest part in the funding, according to Braun, was from the State Building Commission, which has to authorize every project in Wisconsin. It recently gave the campus some $73,000 and the authorization to go ahead with the project.
Construction on the trail is scheduled to begin in spring 1998 by Cedar Corp. of Menomonie, and is expected to take four to five months to complete. The trail will be paved, with adequate lighting, landscaping and signage.
One section of the trail will run east to west the length of campus, starting behind Johnson Hall. Another section will run north to south, from the corner of Broadway and Sycamore streets, to cross at the Wall Amphitheater.
Braun recognized all those who realize that safe transportation for students and the community is as important as the construction and repairing of buildings and who have been generous with their money. "A special thanks goes out to those taking care of that need."