The building of bicycling and walking pathways near and around Pineview Reservoir has been steadily progressing for several years, and a recent seal of approval from the Weber County Commission ensures that contruction and the acquiring of funds will last longer yet.
"It is a formality to get their approval. We are planning to put in approximately 2 miles, over by Middle Inlet Creek and Valley Market," Weber Pathways Executive Director Mark Benigni said.
Weber Pathways was formed in 1995 for the purpose of building alternative paths geared for cyclists and walkers rather than cars, but its efforts to build a complete path around Pineview have been stalled by lack of funding a number of times.
Now the group hopes the additional 2 miles will be paved by November, before weather conditions deter laying of asphalt. If work is not completed by then, it will probably be finished in June or July 2014.
The new path area will require the construction of three bridges, which complicates finances and logistical planning.
"Bridges are almost always expensive. It's been a long, difficult process," said Helene Liebman, a board of trustees member. "Some of the professionals who are helping us are donating their time and doing in-kind work, and there have been a lot of them. We have had to hire a project manager, an engineer, a bridge designer and a lot of others."
Funding for the pathways is partially made up of revenue from Weber County's impact fees on unincorporated areas, but Weber Pathways also relies on funds from Recreation, Arts, Museums and Parks and the state.
"The county has been very good about giving us impact money. We would like to eventually get around the entire reservoir, but our short-term goal is to fix this area this year, and we eventually want to link Eden from Huntsville without having to get on the street," Liebman said.
Data recently compiled by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute indicates that there are pros and cons to adding nonmotorized pathways. On the one hand, it will be a contribution to an already popular camping and boating area, but it will also be an additional construction project that might cause delays in the area.
Benigni stressed that traffic impediments will not be a serious issue during construction.
"The construction is going to be primarily off the roadway. In the Ogden Valley area, the loop around Pineview is viewed as a priority trail, and this has been planned for some time," Benigni said.
Another one of the project's financial backers has voiced approval for the plan.
"Providing trail access for Weber County citizens is a good thing, because everyone will get a chance to enjoy the wonderful scenery of the public area there. Weber Pathways is a great group, and we are happy to support the work they do," said Chris Ward, a spokesman for R.A.M.P.
Construction on the extension to the Pineview loop is scheduled to begin soon.