After years of planning, the Monument Valley Pathway through Scottsbluff is finally about to become a reality.
Crews from Paul Reed Construction began work near the Riverside Discovery Center Monday to start on the path that will wind trough the city until it ends near Western Nebraska Community College.
The path will head north from the current pathway south of the RDC before taking a turn to the west along West Overland to Avenue V, where it will go north. Coming back to the east on West 20th Street, the next turn will be to go north along Avenue I. A venture through Northwood Park will take the route to 33rd Street, then to the north near Avenue F. The path will continue east along Highway 26 until it reaches a pedestrian bridge near Scottsbluff High School to allow for safe passage over the highway. The path will continue again to the east along the north side of Highway 26 to East 27th Street before ending northwest of WNCC.
City of Scottsbluff public works director Mark Bohl said he is excited for the project to be coming to life after nearly 10 years existing only on paper.
“We’re underway, and I’m ready,” he said. “I’m ready to see this thing get going and get completed and be a great addition to the city.”
The pathway comes in at a cost of $5.6 million with city funds combined with grant and matching funds used for the 5.7-mile trail.
The pedestrian bridge will be a massive undertaking, but Bohl said it is a welcome addition.
“It will be really, really nice to see the pedestrian bridge connect the north part of town to the south part of town safely,” he said. “We can get pedestrians across, kids across. Much needed, and way too long.”
The project is scheduled to be completed by July 2021.
“I’ve heard nothing but good comments,” Bohl said. “I think everybody is really anxious to watch the pedestrian bridge go in, but it’s the safety reasons, to be able to access and just get one side to the other without trying to cross a four-lane highway. They’re anxious, and so am I.”
There were bumps in the proverbial road to get to the literal pathway.
“We worked through the issues that we had, and it takes time,” Bohl said. “We understand concerns, so we had come back to (city) council a few times, and we changed things. We got through all the right-of-way issues, all the easements are purchased, so we’re just ready to go.”
With easements and right-of-way papers filed with the county, the pathway itself becomes the city’s responsibility. The city’s parks department and public works department will be responsible for snow removal on the 10-foot wide pathway.