Engineering the Greenway

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Updated: 3/29/2013 6:58 pm
For over 20 years, the Portneuf Greenway Foundation has been working to create miles of easy to use trails around the Gate City.

But laying down a fresh trail isn't as simple as putting down asphalt or gravel; it takes a process and specifically some engineering.

By day, Dan Harelson works for the Idaho Transportation Department.

"Trying to answer questions from contractors, making sure contractors are on task," said Dan, "we have a lot of review and approval of plans that they are working towards. Sometimes, there are errors in the plans and we have to work through the errors. Then pay the bills, we administer all the federal funding and pay the contractor."

By night, he's one of the minds behind the Portneuf Greenway Trail System that intersects the Gate City.

"I've been working as kind of their volunteer engineer," Dan said. "I helped them develop a master plan for the next five years. I have a lot of highway engineering experience and the Greenway is basically a road for non-motorized vehicles."

Three years ago, Dan was recruited to serve on the Greenway board. Before that, he volunteered his talents off and on through the years.

"This was one of the first projects I worked on when I started with the Greenway," said Dan. "It was very overgrown, I had my daughter and we came out here and flagged a trail. I had to have her crawl over logs to put some flags in for the contractor. It gives me something to do in the evenings and it gives me an outlet for my talents, maybe more flexibility than what I have at work. At work, I have lots of rules and here I can be a little more creative."

Dan say's volunteering for the Greenway is a great way to give back to many east Idahoans.

"It's a resource that families can us, that kids can use and it doesn't cost anything," Dan said. "You don't have to pay an admission, if you want to get out for a walk with the family after supper, you can get out with a walk with the family after supper."

For more information on how you can help out across east Idaho you can visit
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