Miracle on Grand Avenue

We waited three years and at long last we have the brand new Grand Avenue trail. Phase I of Silt’s safe routes to school has been completed. I haven’t seen this much excitement in Silt since the roundabout.

The three and a half blocks recently completed on Grand Avenue connect Cactus Valley Elementary to 7th Street, at the Town Hall.

According to Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Aluise, “This is just the beginning. Next I’d like to see the trail extend up 7th Street and connect with the Eagle’s View trail.”


I checked in with some kids and moms after school this week. They were all smiles and everyone said they love the new trail.

The money to build the Grand Avenue trail came from existing park funds. Lyon Construction provided the pavement work. Silt Public Works Director Gerry Pace designed and engineered the project. In the area between 4th Street and the school, Paces’s crew did a terrific job of working around existing landscaping. I asked him about the challenge that section posed.

“The portion between Third and Fourth was tight because the fence is encroaching and the owner was concerned that she could not see the children while backing out [of her driveway],” Pace said. “It was decided to leave the trail close to the street and gradually bring it north. We had to leave room for the drainage ditch because we did not want the expense of curb and gutter for the whole distance. At this point, we are under $27,000 for the project.”

Pace added, “One nice thing that happened is that the owner at the corner of Fourth had a couple of small trees in the [right-of-way]. We offered her a gift certificate to the local nursery. She declined and said ‘thanks for the trail’.”

What is not shown in these photos are the white stripes painted at all the crosswalks. The paint is reflective so it glows at night. Very safe. It is so nice to be able to walk on the trail after dark rather than the street as I have done for years. I know the kids and moms are grateful for the trail but I am especially thankful because I use it, too.

The section of the trail that runs through Community Center Park has been needed long before the school was built. I use the park often and there was never any place for strollers, bikes, carts, or wagons – until now.

On behalf of everyone in Silt, especially those of us who live between 1st and 7th Streets, I thank the Town Board and especially Gerry Pace, and the Public Works Dept for this incredible new trail. During the construction, as the excitement grew, it brought tears to my eyes and that what seems like such a simple solution – a paved trail – could bring so much happiness.

When you encounter a Silt Public Works employee, please join me in thanking them for an amazing job in what seemed like record time.

Gerry Pace said, “We often get only complaints and it is good to hear a compliment from time to time.”

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2 Comments on “Miracle on Grand Avenue”

  1. Carl & Karen Mc Williams Says:

    The new sidewalks for our school children is a living example of the wisdom of the Silt voters in electing the SOS FOUR.

    Mayor Dave Moore, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Aluise, Trustee Bryan Fleming and Trustee Paul Taylor are to be congratulated. Gerry Pace and his crew did an excellent job!!!

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    All of a sudden things are getting done in Silt again. You’re right, voters made the right choices on election day.

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