A committee in Edgewood wants to take folks around a loop. Specifically, the Viking Loop.
Fundraising plans are in the early stages to build an eight-tenths of a mile paved walking path, 10 feet wide, that, when connected to existing city sidewalks, will offer residents over a mile path to enjoy.
Called the Viking Loop, the new path will begin at Community Dreams and run along the east side of the industrial park before heading west along Rabbit Run and connecting with sidewalks on North Washington Street.
While walking paths have been discussed in Edgewood before, Pave the Way committee member Michelle Brady said she is confident the path will get built this time.
“Land acquisition is usually a big roadblock. By putting it out in Community Dreams and the industrial park, we don’t have to worry about that. The city and the Edgewood Board of Economic Development will donate ground for this portion of the trail.”
Brady estimates the trail to cost $300,000 and hopes to begin construction in 2021 after applying for county and state grants.
“Our goal is to have the matching funds in place so we can apply for larger grants that become available in 2021,” she explained.
Those county and state grants are the reason trail advocates want a 10 foot wide trail. “There are multiple reasons for the 10 foot trail,” Brady acknowledged. “One is the bi-directional capability. It also needs to be that wide with two feet clear zones on each side to qualify for grant funding.”
Brady said the path will be built in three stages. “The first stage costs $115,000 and will be a graded path with limestone. Our next stage will be a half-mile of paved path at a cost of $158,000. Of course, we will continue to push higher to finish the project and pave all of it.”
Brady believes the path, when completed, will offer something for everyone. “The uses are endless. It can be used by young children riding bikes, families with children and adults of every age. People can use it and not be on the road. It’s a safe place to ride bikes, push strollers, walk, run or do whatever you like.”
Brady said the committee has the support of city officials. “Overall, we have the support of the mayor and council. They want us to be confident of our fundraising capabilities and make sure we have the funds in place.”
Brady referenced a remark by Edgewood mayor Jim Stone at a recent council meeting. “Mayor Stone said ‘when there is a vision and a clear plan, Edgewood gets behind it and makes things happen.’ That really stuck with me. We’ve got a lot of people excited about this.”
Brady continued, “We have a plan and that’s really what the city wanted to see. They wanted a plan, a vision and cost estimates. Now it’s time to take it to the community to raise money and make it a reality.”
Those wishing more information on how to donate to the project may contact the committee by emailing email@example.com.