City awards bids for improvements to Thunder Junction parking lot, Bear Claw Poppy Trailhead

ST. GEORGE — Much-needed improvements to some of St. George’s favorite recreation destinations are set to get underway to help meet the needs of the city’s growing populace and tourism industry.

During a recent City Council meeting, St. George officials approved bids for two such projects, including plans for an expanded parking lot at Thunder Junction All Abilities Park and trailhead improvements for the Bear Claw Poppy Trail.

Thunder Junction

The parking lot expansion at Thunder Junction will allow room for more guests on some of the park’s busiest days and will increase the number of disabled parking spaces.

In addition to being the one of the city’s most extensive outdoor play parks — complete with a train, waterfall splash pad, swings, zip lines and slides — Thunder Junction was specifically designed to accommodate children with disabilities, making the increased access afforded by additional disabled parking spaces an essential upgrade.

Emma Bell rides on a zip line chair with safety cage at Thunder Junction’s grand opening, St. George, Utah, Oct. 8, 2016 | File photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Read more: Thunder Junction All Abilities Park debuts to massive crowd

However, the expanded parking lot will also necessitate the removal of the community garden at Tonaquint Park. The garden, a publicly funded initiative established in 2010, will be relocated nearby.

A bid in the amount of $228,764.98 by Interstate Rock Products to construct the new parking lot was approved by the City Council April 18. The project will include grading the site of the relocated garden, utilities installation, asphalt paving, concrete work, fencing and various removals.

Bear Claw Poppy Trailhead

The popular Bear Claw Poppy Trail in the southwest end of St. George will also be receiving various improvements to its trailhead.

Bear Claw Poppy Trailhead, St. George, Utah, April 22, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The trail is an 8-mile loop that starts where the pavement ends on Navajo Drive and connects with various trails in the Green Valley area. Often referred to as the Green Valley Loop, the trail system is frequented by hikers and mountain bikers of all expertise levels.

Read more: No Filter: Biking the Bearclaw Poppy Trail

The trailhead is directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood in the Bloomington area.

“Those folks out in that area have been quite concerned the need for the restrooms and how they’re being used. So that’s really good,” St. George City Councilman Ed Baca said, referring to the planned improvements, which include installation of a restroom.

The bid to perform the trailhead improvements was also awarded to Interstate Rock Products. The estimated cost of the project is $182,814.07, which includes parking lot improvements, site grading, utilities installation, restroom installation and fencing.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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