The City of Hickory's Bond Implementation Commission met on February 28 to review City Walk plans in preparation for sending the project out to bid.
The Bond Commission approved the presented plans for the multi-use, linear path portion of the City Walk that extends approximately 1.7 miles from 9th Street NW through downtown to Lenoir-Rhyne University. The Bond Commission unanimously voted to fast-track the bidding for the main spine, while opting to bid out Union Square and several other project elements in a separate package.
This decision for two separate bid packages is two-fold, as N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) funding will only cover the spine of the project and additional time is needed to discuss Union Square plans with downtown stakeholders. As the City continues to seek community input and engage downtown property and business owners in discussions to develop the best strategy for maximizing opportunities in the Union Square vicinity, the main spine of the City Walk can go out to bid.
The initial bid package will include the main spine of the City Walk, as well as nine alternate elements. These alternate features include the arches of the iconic N.C. 127 bridge, wayfinding signs, retaining wall façade and seat wall upgrades, medallions along the path, and several other upgraded elements. The goal of this bid package strategy is to encourage reasonable bids and provide the City with flexible options to meet budget constraints.
The City Walk plans and bid package recommendations will now go before Hickory City Council in March for approval. In April, NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will review the completed plans. The project is expected to be bid out in May with groundbreaking to hopefully follow in late summer.
For more information about the City Walk and other bond projects, please visit www.hickorync.gov/content/bond-information.