A trail from Beatrice’s Big Blue Water Park to Hannibal Park, a project that has been in the works for over eight years, has been approved for construction in 2020.
The Beatrice City Council approved paying $1.34 million to Caspers Construction for the project during its meeting Monday night, which is the lowest bid they received.
The city received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to pay for 80 percent of the project, with the city paying the remaining 20 percent as well as engineering expenses acquired while the project’s planning period.
City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the city applied for the grant in 2011, which was secured in April of 2012.
In 2012, the project was projected to cost about $900,000, but has increased due to inflation.
After the Hannibal Park Trail is completed, there will be one section of land remaining to create a loop of trails in the city: the area from Hannibal Park to the Homestead Trail along Dorsey Street.
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The council also approved a resolution to do an $18,000 streetscape planning study downtown.
The project is half funded by a Community Development Block grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and half funded by the city.
Tempelmeyer said the project was decided with Main Street Beatrice, and said the last streetscape study was held in the late 90s.
“Rather than trying to make changes on one block and shoehorn something in there, let’s take a step back, let’s do a study and see what we want the downtown to look like,” Tempelmeyer said. “Then we’ll start exploring block by block how we make those improvements.”
Mayor Stan Wirth said he agreed with the resolution.
“I think it’s great to at least get the overview of what somebody else thinks instead of going out and doing something we wish we hadn’t,” Wirth said.