Feds to Spend Up to $100,000 to Build Bike Trail

Mark Twain National Forest already has 22 bike trails

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The U.S. Forest Service is planning to spend up to $100,000 on a new bike trail for the Mark Twain National Forest, making it the 23rd mountain biking trail at the park.

The agency issued a solicitation on Wednesday detailing its plans for the “Wolf Creek” bike trail, which will be added to the park in Southern Missouri. 

“This Mark Twain National Forest will issue a Request for Quotations which will result in a firm-fixed price contract to perform work on the Wolf Creek Bicycle Trail at the Poplar Bluff Ranger District in Butler County, Missouri,” the solicitation said.

“The government estimate for this project is between $25,000 and $100,000.”

Mark Twain National Forest already has 22 bike trails and 12 other mountain biking areas. In addition, the park has trails for “hiking, biking, horseback riding, or focusing on ecology, aesthetics, wildlife, and recreation.”

The new trail will stretch roughly 9 miles, requiring trees to be cut down and “disposed of,” according to contract documents.

“Contractor shall selectively clear the trail corridor of vegetation and trim remaining vegetation to extent of the trail corridor clearing limits, specifically, 60” [5 feet] wide clearing limit, and 108” [9 feet] tall ceiling clearing height measured from the highest point on the trail tread,” the document said.

“Trees shall be felled away from the trail corridor and the stump cut to ground level,” it said.

“The contractor shall obtain [the Contracting Officers Representative] COR approval prior to removal of any trees larger than 6” in diameter at breast height,” the document continued. “Felled trees larger than 6” diameter at breast height shall be removed from the trail corridor and disposed of on-site as directed by the COR.”

Building the trail will require the clearing of “closed pine and oak woodlands, timber stand improvement stands, 30-year-old clear cuts, wooded flats, and rocky drainages.”

Carpenters and pile drivers working on the bike trail will be paid between $27.67 and $33.38 an hour.

All of the construction must meet standards found in the 2004 edition of the “International Mountain Bicycle Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions Guide.” The 272-page manual combines “cutting-edge trailbuilding techniques with proven fundamentals in a colorful, easy-to-read format.”

The guide provides instructions for trail planning, design, tool selection, construction, and maintenance, and “describes how to secure funding and support volunteers to get the job done.”

Named after the American writer and Missouri native Mark Twain, who endorsed the bicycle before the invention of the automobile, the park is celebrating its 75-year anniversary this year. The forest spans roughly 1.5 million acres, mostly within the Ozark Highlands, and has an annual budget between $18 million and $21 million.