By Ann McCreary
Twisp town officials celebrated the beginning of a project that has been years in planning — a recreational trail — at a gathering in the Twisp Park on Friday (Sept. 22).
Groundbreaking for the trail was expected to begin this week, with completion by the end of October, said Andrew Denham, Twisp public works director. When completed, the trail will run from the gazebo in the park, along the river and up to Methow Street, about one-fourth of a mile in length.
Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said the process of planning, securing land and funding for the town trail project has seemed “glacially slow” at times. She thanked property owners Sara and Scott Bennet, Tina Heath and Bill and Diana Hottell for donating rights-of-way and easements for the trail.
Among those thanked by the mayor for their contributions to the trail project was former Town Council and Planning Commission member Traci Day, who advocated for the trail. Ing-Moody credited Day for her “tireless and relentless energy” in working to plan the trail and secure land donations along the river.
At the invitation of Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, the three state legislators representing Twisp –Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, and Reps. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, and Cary Condotta, R-Wenatchee — attended the event. Also attending was Kayleen Cottingham, director of the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), which provided funding for the project.
Twisp received a 50 percent matching grant for trail design and construction from the RCO for $173,211. The town’s match was primarily in-kind labor and donations.
The trail will be wheelchair-accessible and surfaced with fine gravel. Denham said the trail will provide pedestrian access to new sidewalks that will be constructed next year along Second Avenue to Glover Street. He said the town is also working toward developing a shared-use path from the trail’s end at Methow Street through town toward Highway 20.
Twisp awarded a $104,611 contract to Lloyd Logging Inc., the only bidder on the project, to build the trail. In a separate contract, Lloyd Logging will provide $18,700 worth of in-kind services for the trail construction in lieu of a trail easement promised earlier by the family-owned company.
Town officials have described a long-term goal of continuing the trail through town, over the bridge that crosses the Methow River on Twisp’s south end and along the river on the east side of the bridge.