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Chesterfield takes steps to fix eroded trails in Eberwein Park

Chesterfield takes steps to fix eroded trails in Eberwein Park

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CHESTERFIELD — The City Council on Monday approved a contract for design work with Horner Shifrin for up to $70,000 to reconstruct and possibly relocate trails now plagued with erosion and other problems in Eberwein Park.

Numerous solutions have been tried, from adding rock to grading swales to installing storm water collection facilities and recompacting the trail, but erosion keeps recurring, Jim Eckrich, the city's public works director/city engineer, said in a memo to the council.

A heavy rain last August caused significant erosion throughout the park, at 1657 Old Baxter Road, and spurred trail closures in multiple locations, he wrote.

“After reviewing the matter at length, we have concluded that there is simply no way to stop the trail erosion without redesigning the trails,” Eckrich said.

“The existing trails were constructed at too steep of a grade for a rock trail, with insufficient consideration for storm water drainage. The city could continue to clean up after every large storm event, remove piles of displaced rock, and recompact the trail. However, this is not the best use of city resources and will result in resident frustration as the trails are closed after every large rain event.”

The city’s plan is to correct problem in phases. Design work is to be finished this year. A three-year reconstruction plan would begin in 2022.

“The new trail will be constructed with proper cross slope and drainage ditches to minimize the chances of future erosion,” Eckrich said in his memo. “Estimated cost of the proposed solution is $850,000, including a 20 percent contingency.”

While all the work can't be done at one time, “the existing condition is not acceptable and something should be done to address the closed trails, which are not only an eyesore but dangerous to those residents who ignore signage,” he wrote.

In other business Monday night, the council approved the appointment of Mark Gaertner, starting June 11, as municipal judge to replace retiring Judge Rick Brunk. Brunk has served as municipal judge for Chesterfield since 1994 He was required to retire at age 75.

Mayor Bob Nation said Gaertner "does not do criminal defense work and is not a prosecutor in any other municipality, precluding any potential perception of conflict of interest.”

City Attorney Chris Graville added that Gaertner is a police commissioner with the St. Louis County Police Board and “has a strong resume and a ton of respect in the law enforcement and legal community.”

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