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Holmes Run Trail trail repair could be pushed back to 2025

Detour for Holmes Run trail (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Five years after extensive flooding severely damaged parts of the Holmes Run Trail, a staff report to the City Council this week indicated that repairs could take even longer than expected.

Parts of the trail have been inaccessible since the flooding in 2018. Earlier reports estimated the trail would be repaired by this spring, then by late fiscal year 2024, but the newest Capital Projects Status Report (item 10) indicated a new estimated substantial completion as the second quarter of fiscal year 2025.

“Obviously, this has been out for a long long time and we’ve certainly heard a fair amount of frustration for how long this project is taking,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “I note, it would appear on the report, we’re pushing out substantial completion a little bit farther.”

Terry Suehr, director of project implementation, laid the blame for the delay in supply chain issues.

“There were multiple sites we were dealing with on Holmes Run,” Suehr said, “the one that was on the quickest path was 4600 Duke Street, that had the replacement of the pedestrian bridge. Due to supply chain issues, what is normally a couple months for procurement had turned into several months. So we have applied that same knowledge to our schedule on the others, anticipating that we’re going to have the same challenges.”

Suehr said the city is pushing the contractor to accomplish as much of the work at 4600 Duke Street as possible so that the bridge can be installed as soon as its ready.

Meanwhile, Suehr said the city is finishing the design for other sites on Holmes Run and the hope is, by August, the city will award a construction contract.

“I know there is a lot going on to prepare for these projects, but folks who look at the site don’t see anything happening. If you could do the design on-site,” Wilson joked, “maybe sit there with a computer, that could be helpful. Folks want to see things moving.”

City Council member Sarah Bagley said if 2025 is the likely date for trail completion, the city needs to do more in the meantime to update signage and improve the detours along the trail.

“If we’re going to prolong this, need to keep up with signage and make detour as safe and accessible as possible,” Bagley said.

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