NEOSHO, Mo. — The design proposals for future bike trails at Morse Park will be available for public viewing Wednesday night.

Officials with Progressive Bike Ramps, a division of American Ramp Co. of Joplin, and the city will hold a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lampo Center, located at 500 E. Spring St.

"This will be an interactive meeting," said John Hunter, vice president of the company. "We'll bring overhead photos of the site, talk more about it and get feedback from the community."

The council in November approved a bid from Progressive Bike Ramps to design bike trails at Morse Park. The $4,800 contract calls for American Ramp to design at least 5 miles of single track, a half-mile skills loop with features, a themed bicycle playground with features, a park name and logo, and to design a second 5-mile phase of single track.

The bid does not include any construction costs. In its fiscal year 2020 budget, the city has set aside $220,000 for bike trails in Morse Park, as well as signs for all parks, lights for better security at Big Spring Park, walking trail safety and Little League improvements.

The plan is to build trails that draw bicycling-related tourism to town, Hunter said. The park name and logo components of the design bid are intended to capitalize on that market.

"Riders will travel to ride in unique and cool places," Hunter said. "Most are already traveling to Northwest Arkansas, and we want to draw some of those people. Having a name and identity based on that helps create that draw."

Morse Park is ideally suited for such a project, Hunter said. It features plenty of flat areas and green spaces for the skills-training area, a nearby hillside for elevation changes and plenty of parking. And a particular advantage is the proximity of Neosho's downtown area.

Hunter said that popular trails in Arkansas have had to plan infrastructure for such close connections.

"From Morse Park, it's a short bike ride to the square, where there are places to eat," Hunter said. "Arkansas (locations) had to really intentionally plan that, and spend resources and time to do that, but in Neosho, it's already right there."

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.

Recommended for you