Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Eduard Kernan, of Switzerland, makes use of the Centennial Park Trail to fish and clean his catch on Sunday August 30, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Eduard Kernan, of Switzerland, makes use of the Centennial Park Trail to fish and clean his catch on Sunday August 30, 2015 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Soldotna expands trail system

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Sunday, August 30, 2015 11:05pm
  • News

A stroll beginning at the Soldotna Sports Complex will soon get visitors all the way to the heart of the city.

The $197,400 Centennial Park to Visitor Center Trail Construction Project will result in the installation of several hundred feet of trail, elevated walkway and fencing. It links a system of trails that runs along the Kenai River at Kalifornsky Beach Road to another that runs along the river at the Sterling Highway.

“Essentially we’re connecting Centennial Park with kind of our downtown corridor, via the trail system,” said City Engineer Kyle Kornelis.

Much of the trail at Centennial Park is built from light-penetrating, grated boardwalks and a portion of the new section of trail will be the same. However, it will transition into a gravel trail as it extends toward the sports complex, according to the city’s bid documents.

The project went through a bidding process in late July, but it has taken three years to get the permits needed to construct the trail as it winds through a riverfront parcel that is managed by the state under its partnership with the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

The council’s habitat protection program used civil settlement funds from the Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation for restoration and habitat protection.

The city had to apply for permits through the Department of Natural Resources and the Kenai Peninsula Borough, according to its request for proposals documents.

“The permitting process definitely took some time and navigation,” Kornelis said. “We were hoping to do some construction last year but we did not receive sufficient snow cover in order to work down by the river with excavators and drive the pilings.”

The construction permit conditions require at least 12 inches of snow or crane mats in order for work to be conducted along portions of the trail.

If the Kenai Peninsula has another relatively snow-less winter the low-bidder — Anchorage-based Treeline Construction — will provide crane mats or haul snow into the area to begin construction by February of 2016.

Kornelis said Treeline Construction could begin work on some of the upland portions of the trail in the fall.

One other condition of the permit is a moose crossing which Kornelis said will be built by elevating a portion of the trail at least 6 feet above the ground.

Kornelis said the project is part of the city’s master plan and its quest to provide inter-connectedness to visitors and city residents who use the trail system.

Reach Rashah McChesney at or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens

More in News

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Brad Snowden and Julie Crites participate in a Seward City Council candidate forum at the Seward Community Library in Seward on Thursday.
Seward council candidates discuss issues at election forum

Participating in Thursday’s forum were Julie Crites and Brad Snowden

Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Soldotna adopts arts and culture master plan

The plan outlines how the city plans to support arts and culture over the next 10 years

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at the Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats return Wednesday

The chats will cover a range of interesting topics, centered on knowledge, research and projects

Erosion of the Kenai bluff near the Kenai Senior Center. (Photo by Aidan Curtin courtesy Scott Curtin)
Kenai to sign bluff stabilization agreement Monday

A signing event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Kenai Senior Center

Engineer Lake Cabin can be seen in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 21, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Public comment accepted for proposed rate increases for overnight fees at refuge

Campsites would increase $5 per night and cabins would increase $10 per night

Abigal Craig, youth winner of the Seventh Annual Kenai Silver Salmon Derby, is presented a novelty check by Kenai River Sportfishing Association Executive Director Shannon Martin, City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel, and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Samantha Springer at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Silver Salmon Derby nets fish, funds for river protection

116 fish were weighed by 79 anglers across the six days of competition

Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis talks about the Soldotna field house project during a Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna awards field house contract

Anchorage-based Criterion General, Inc. will construct the facility

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to let borough mayors speak sooner during meetings

The mayor’s report will now be given after the first round of public comments and before public hearings and new assembly business

Assembly members Lane Chesley, left, and Richard Derkevorkian participate in a borough assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Haara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly asks state to allow term limits for school board members

Alaska Statute does not allow term limits to be imposed on school board members

Most Read