By Phoebe Muthart
The Conklin Bay boardwalk project is expected to begin approximately Monday, Oct. 14, the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee heard Monday, Sept. 16.
A pre-construction meeting was conducted Monday morning at Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s office in Syracuse. At the meeting was Robert Smith, a board member, and representatives of the project’s contractors.
There was a discussion regarding pavement thickness at the WACF entrance. A portion of the trail will be used to allow vehicular access across the trail without damaging the trail.
George Truebloood, project manager/landscape designer for Earth Source Inc., and Christian Baybutt, project estimator for Selge Construction, confirmed there are already plans to make a portion of the trail 6 feet thick to allow for vehicular traffic.
Trueblood led a discussion regarding the stormwater pollution prevention plan. He asked Andrea Baker of Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District if there was anything she would like to add. As inspector of the project, she noted to be cognizant of where Selge Construction was working and its proximity to Lake Wawasee. Vigilance is key to keeping contaminants out of the wetlands and/or the lake, she added.
Truebloood discussed permits necessary for construction, highlighting the Indiana Department of Natural Resources permit deadline. Scheduling was discussed by Truebloood, Baybutt and Baker. Baybutt noted plans are to begin construction activities around Monday, Oct. 14.
Truebloood noted the inspection schedule. He noted he would be on-site once a week for a minimum of 21 weeks, with time allotted for 10 additional inspections and site visits. A & Z Engineering would be on site once per week for 16 weeks for work within the Indiana Department of Transportation right of way.
Truebloood broached the subject of regular progress meetings. He thought once every two weeks would be sufficient to review progress, action items, site review and coordination. Baybutt agreed that would be sufficient.
Attendees then walked down to the staging area and discussed the beginning of construction activities as it pertained to the site. Baybutt mentioned to Trueblood there was no seeding list for the native herbaceous plants that will be impacted in the plan. Trueblood replied he would provide them with a seed list mix that would be suitable for the site if necessary. Further discussion revolved around the native seed bank that would exist in the stripped top soil and that it may be possible to replace the top soil in lieu of re-seeding.
James Boyles of Selge Construction said he is more than happy to work with WACF within the already proposed limits of work but added his equipment needs to be visible from the road for security reasons.
The trail committee discussed hiring a new executive director. The committee members hopes to interview several potential candidates for the job soon.
“We need to find a director,” stressed Kay Young, the trail committee’s chairman.
In other news, Dr. Tom Edington gave the August treasurer’s report. There were no donations in August but expenses totaled $973.55.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21.