Work on Carbon County's rails-to-trails project will soon be able to begin.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to award the multi-use recreational trail contract to the low bidder, S&K Construction of Tobyhanna. S&K Construction submitted the low bid of $318,622.50. The recreational trail will connect Lehigh Gorge State Park with downtown Jim Thorpe
Ted Otteni, project manager from CHA of King of Prussia, said there was a slight discrepancy or mathematical errors in three of the bids, including S&K Construction, which lowered the bid numbers slightly. For example, the initial bid by S&K Construction was $319,140, but it was noted that it should have been $318,622.50.
Otteni said the discrepancies were caught as the bids were being reviewed by his company.
He added that the errors did not change who the apparent low bidder was.
The construction company now has the green light to prepare to begin the project and work on the trail may begin in a few weeks.
The rails-to-trails project has been in the works since 2005, but numerous hurdles shut down any progress that could be made, and continually pushed back the completion date.
Earlier this year, the county and Reading and Northern Railroad reached an agreement on plans for the trail. Specifications for the project call for the path to come off the Nesquehoning trestle and be six feet away from the railroad tracks in that area, and arch out 100 feet until it is 15 feet away the requirement specified by the railroad. A four-foot high fence will also be installed 12 feet from the center of the trail as a safety measure.
In August, the county purchased the last piece of needed land for the project from Frank Foster. Negotiations for that purchase have taken place since at least 2006.