The Hickory City Council awarded a $20.8 million contract for construction of the city’s Aviation Walk to Neill Grading & Construction Co. at a special meeting Wednesday.
The Aviation Walk, one of the city’s planned walking and biking paths, will include a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 321 that leads to L.P. Frans Stadium and the Hickory Regional Airport.
It will be part of the walkway system that also includes the City Walk and Riverwalk. The walking paths are funded partly through a $40 million bond passed in 2014.
While it is considered part of the bond program, City Manager Warren Wood said no bond funds had been used for the Aviation Walk yet, though some may be in the future.
The project is funded through a $17 million federal grant the city received along with regular city funding.
The contract also includes a section of a walking and biking path on Main Avenue NW and 11th Street NW between Main Avenue and Old Lenoir Road.
COVID, Trivium funding
The Hickory council also voted to accept $4.1 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, the pandemic-related federal stimulus initiative that became law in March.
The $4.1 million is half the total amount the city will receive; the other $4.1 million is expected to come to the city in the next fiscal year, Wood said.
The city will establish a special fund for the federal money.
It is not yet clear exactly what the city will be able to use the funding for, but Wood said it seemed like water and sewer capital projects and replacement of lost revenue would be among the allowable uses.
Finally, the council agreed to spend $1.35 million for the purchase of 108 additional acres for the Trivium Corporate Center. The city and Catawba County are jointly developing the business park between Startown and Robinwood roads.
The additional land is needed because the park has been filling up with businesses and only three of the original nine spaces are available in the existing land.
Costs for the project will be split evenly between the two governments. The Catawba County Board of Commissioners agreed to pay its part of the deal earlier this week.
Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.