New bike trails in Lincoln projected to cost much more than old ones

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln is home to roughly 134 miles of biking and walking trails, a number that helps give Lincoln an incredibly high ranking on the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department wants to keep going, with a bigger vision for the future of trail accessibility.

“Every year, or every couple of years, we’re trying to add to that system and expand it to essentially work our way out into new developments with the goal of every resident in Lincoln should be located within a mile of the trail,” said planning and facilities manager J.J. Yost.

Parks and Rec has several trails currently being designed that are set to begin construction in 2023. But the cost of these trails is seeing a sharp spike due to inflation.

“At least recently, construction costs to purchasing the land, to pour the concrete, we see that as just a little over $300,000 a mile in total,” Yost said.

Chuck Griffith, vice president of the Nebraska Trail Foundation, said limestone is significantly more expensive. What used to be $20,000 for a mile’s worth of limestone is now a whopping $80,000.

“We’re seeing both construction costs go up and material costs go up,” Yost said. “I’m hearing inflation on construction costs are running at about an 8% increase, so on $300,000, that’s gonna be a large number.”

This is a hefty number, but federal grants and donations will cover the cost of building the new trails. Taxpayers will only need to worry about the maintenance and upkeep once the trails are ready to ride.

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