Overpass project paves city, bypass trails

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

A Century Companies construction crew works on paving the trails by Frank Day Park on May 5, 2017.

Photo courtesy of Guy Slaybaugh

The Lewistown West Overpass Project is coming to a close this summer, and trails around Lewistown are seeing the benefits, according to Century Companies employee and Project Manager Guy Slaybaugh. Whether in the city or by the bypass, the paths are now paved.

“For the city loop, we did from Sixth Avenue by Frank Day Park around to Veteran’s Park,” he said. “The other section started on A Street and then paved through the residential areas to by Lewistown Junior High School.”

Slaybaugh added the trails by the highway and the truck bypass, labeled as bike trails in project plans, were also paved.

Brad Mccardle, trails maintenance supervisor for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, has heard good things from trail users.

“As far as the public’s perspective, we’ve been hearing some really positive feedback,” he said. “I think a lot of people prefer the paving to the gravel because the gravel can get a little sloppy in the spring after heavy rains and snow. The pavement eliminates that issue.”

While the paving is complete, Slaybaugh said the trails themselves weren’t quite finished.

“We’ll be pouring concrete at the ends that come up to streets to make new ADA-compliant ramps,” he said.

The ramps, scheduled to be poured next week, will create a trail system that’s friendly to more of Central Montana, according to Slaybaugh.

“The comments we’ve heard are that people are enjoying the paths and they think it’s great to have asphalt instead of gravel,” he said. “I think it makes it usable to a wider range of people.”

Slaybaugh listed small children and parents with strollers as some examples. Mccardle added another.

“Handicapped individuals will be able to use the trail,” he said. “There were a couple of intersections that were kind of difficult and steep for the handicapped.”

Mccardle is excited for the trails in general, and views the upgraded petroleum [in the asphalt] Century used as an advantage for the City.

“It sounds like we’ll have a lot more integrity in the long run, especially in the extreme temperatures that we experience here in the summer and winter,” he said.

Mccardle appreciates the effort and collaboration that produced the paved trails. He credited Friends of the Trails, a local group, with helping the project, and praised the way Century worked with the City to create to tailor the work to the area.

“We’re really fortunate, happy and proud to have somebody like Century, somebody that will work with us locally,” he said. “ Guy was really good about checking in with me and asking me questions about certain issues, and he really did a good job of communicating.”

Collaboration created a boon for Lewistown, according to Mccardle.

“I think it’s going to make a huge impression on visitors and travelers coming through town,” he said. “They see that trail system, and it automatically gives an impression of a town that values fitness and quality of life as a priority.”

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