Flood plain delays walking trail project

An aerial photo of Southerns campus shows the route the recently announced walking trail will take from MSSU to Northpark Mall

Photo courtesy of Bob Harrington

An aerial photo of Southern’s campus shows the route the recently announced walking trail will take from MSSU to Northpark Mall

Kamryn Trusler, staff writer

In Feb. 2013 it was announced that a walking trail plan in Joplin received funding. A plan put in place for the students of Missouri Southern, the trail is meant to reach the Northpark Mall from campus. However, the press release regarding said trail stated it was to be completed by Oct. 2013. Nearly a year later, even though T’s have been crossed and I’s have been dotted, construction on the project has yet to break ground.

Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant at Missouri Southern, shed some light on the delayed project. After fighting for this plan to take root for seven years, construction was delayed due to a flood zone complication with Turkey Creek. For this reason, all new paperwork and fresh communication with the property owners was necessary.

“The limits of the flood plain were changed and it’s a lot of red tape,” Harrington said.

The plan to combat this zoning issue is to redesign the bridge connecting the trail across the creek. The fight now is to make the money last the wait, but realistically the community should not expect to see anything until next spring.

“[The trail] It’s overdue,” Harrington said, “It will be a great asset to our students.”

Another cause for project delay is the fact that there are a total of six campus construction projects going on at once. Harrington, being the lead man for these construction liaisons, equates his ability to handle all of these projects to a lot of help from his staff.

“[These new additions] will be a whole new look for Missouri Southern,” Harrington said, “Hopefully [these additions] will bring in a lot of new faces to Missouri Southern.”