Path repair – City approves project, hears proposal for another

This portion of Richfield City’s bike and pedestrian path, as seen Dec. 12, is in danger of collapsing into the canal. Natural erosion and people sliding down the embankment have caused the canal bank to erode away. A repair project was approved last week.

Since its construction, which was completed in phases starting in 2007, Richfield’s bike/pedestrian path has been regularly used, but portions of it are now in danger of collapsing. 

The path was built along the path of a canal on the west side of town. Between the swimming pool and the cemetery, portions of the canal bank are eroding away, and are now causing damage to the path. 

“This should stop the issue for quite a long time,” said Carson DeMille, of Jones & DeMille Engineering, during a Richfield City Council meeting Dec. 10.

DeMille said a plan to rebuild the canal bank using rocks over a type of fabric will stop the erosion and prevent further damage to the path.

The city council approved a bid for the project at $73,850. The repairs will hit all of the worst spots where the erosion is threatening the path. 

Using the rocks will also help deter something that is aggravating the problem — young people sliding down the canal bank in the summer, DeMille said.

While on the topic of repairing recreation infrastructure in the city, the council heard a presentation from a group of students from the Sevier Career and Technical Education Center. The group of high school students presented a concept for repairing the Centennial Park on Richfield’s north side. 

The park, built in 2004, was originally constructed on a site that was used as a landfill. Ever since the park’s construction, it has continued to settle and sink, causing sidewalks to buckle and other problems with the infrastructure.

The plan presented by the students, including Connor Anderson, Bryan Bravo, Dyllan Jensen and Morgan Westwood, would fix the park in a way that would allow for the settling to continue. Instead of concrete paths, a new path using compacted soil would be created. Instead of the curb and gutters along the west side of the park, the parking area would be graded so that it would drain onto the grass of the park.

Other ideas included adding 10 exercise stations, expanding a dog park, grading a portion of it so it can be used for sledding in the winter and for movies on the park in the warmer months, as well as a pump track. 

A pump track can be used by beginning mountain bike riders to practice on, or by more experienced riders warming up before heading out on the bike trail located west of town, near Centennial Park. 

The students said the goal of the project would be not just to repair the park, but also increase use of it by adding things other parks in the city don’t currently have.

“This is meant to be a tool for you,” said Jared Justensen, faculty advisor. He said his engineering students are assigned to look at a need in the community, figure out solutions and then research how much the solutions will cost — similar to how a civil engineering firm provides services to a local government. 

The repair and upgrade project would cost approximately $70,000, according to the price estimates the students compiled for the city. 

“I’m impressed, you’ve done an amazing amount of work,” said Connie Nielsen, city council member.

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