The extension of the trail has a problem
Back to the drawing board in New London
By Robert Cloud
The Newton-Blackmour Trail section in New London has encountered obstacles that may delay its completion.
City administrator Chad Hoerth told the New London parks and recreation committee at its March 1 meeting that the state’s Department of Natural Resources had rejected plans to continue the rail line to Pfeifer Park.
The city’s goal was to bring the trail west of House Road, where it currently ends, under the US Highway 45 off-ramp, under the US 45 bridge, and then across from the Embarrass River to Pfeifer Park, where it will connect to the city’s existing network. trail system.
New London worked with Watco, the track owner, the State Department of Transportation and the DNR.
Hoerth said engineers were working on the bridge over the Embarrass River.
The deck should be high enough for a boat to float under during a high river event.
“One of the challenges is that the banks are quite low,” Hoerth said.
Engineers originally designed the bridge with taller abutments. But then the bridge would require ramps going up both sides of the bridge.
At the same time, New London Utilities owns utility poles and power lines in the same area.
“We can’t put a structure here that they can’t get a bucket truck around the corner to service their equipment,” Hoerth said.
Once engineers figured out how to place the abutments and ramps without interfering with utilities, they had to study some hydraulic models to see what effect the bridge would have during a 100-year flood.
Hoerth noted that the Embarrass River channel meanders through this area and the banks on both sides of the river are flooded.
Since the bridge is located in a flood plain, the abutments would be in the middle of the flood.
Engineers worked to reduce the water barrier. They were able to bring it down to 0.01 feet.
“It’s an eighth of an inch,” Hoerth said. “Obviously that’s something FEMA wouldn’t approve of.”
Hoerth noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and DNR would not approve the bridge at this site.
“That puts a big problem,” Hoerth said, of plans to bring the trail into Pfeifer Park via a bridge.
Hoerth said the city received nearly $800,000 in grants for the trail, which must be spent by the end of October.
He suggested the city develop the trail in the dog park area north of Pfeifer Park until engineers find a way to cross the Embarrass River.
Lighting for the veterans memorial
Jim Jaeger, Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Foundation, spoke to the Parks and Recreation Committee about the lighting of the mural on a wall near the New London Veterans Memorial in Taft Park.
The Wolf River Art League painted the eagle and flag mural on the side of the C&R Waterfront Bar and Grill.
Jaeger said the mural is not visible at night.
“You can drive down this street and you can’t see the murals at all,” he said.
The committee agreed to look at possible facilities and costs.