VALPARAISO | The total reconstruction of the asphalt paths at Fairgrounds Park will begin Monday with the replacement of the connection between the two parking lots and the area around the concession stand building.
This portion of the project was scheduled for next week because it is the break between the summer and fall sports programs at the park. Parks Director John Seibert said the work will be completed in five to seven days, weather permitting.
The second phase will begin soon after and will mean people using the running track around the Fairgrounds Park perimeter will have to find an alternate place for their walking, jogging or casual moseying.
The total reconstruction of the path by Rieth Riley will involve removal of the existing asphalt track. Seibert told the city's Park Board on Tuesday the track has been in place for 22 years with just normal maintenance to preserve it.
Seibert said about 500 people use the track each day, but the six-foot-wide track will be replaced with an eight-foot-wide track, which is the standard width for the other city pathways. It is expected to take a week to lay the new track.
When Rieth Riley is done, the city's Public Works Department will add a white line along the inside of the track. Seibert said this was a request from the Mayor's Advisory Council on Disabilities to provide a guide for those with low vision.
Additional striping also is being considered because the new track also will allow bicycles, something that isn't allowed now. The total cost of the contract is $90,000.
Seibert said the eventual goal is to connect the track to a pathway on Evans Avenue from the park all the way to the underpass at Ind. 49.
The track replacement is part of a five-year plan of refurbishing the entire park that included providing lighting for two fields that previously had none a few years ago. The installation of those lights showed how badly the lighting at the other two fields had diminished over the years.
To correct that, the parks has hired a company for $6,400 to replace the lights and do other maintenance to the lighting on those two fields. That work will be done around Aug. 20 and take about two days.