History meets contemporary in this lush bike preserve
Bentonville, ARIn the serene Ozarks of NW Arkansas lies a recreation destination designed to push the limits of mountain biking and connect with nature. Just a five-minute bike ride from downtown Bentonville, the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve offers an expansive refuge for mountain bikers and hikers alike. When The City of Bentonville wanted to enhance and refurbish portions of the preserve, they came to Crossland, knowing we would bring the best of our industry talent to this important community project.
In partnership with Crossland Heavy, Crossland Construction recreated much of the park by combining innovative earthwork with historical renovations and architectural design, drawing families from around the country to this recreation utopia. As the project got underway, the original scope expanded to include refurbished and new structures in addition to trails, bridge repair, and stream restoration.
Crews restored two existing barns from the early 1900s to keep the history and character of the land. Inside the larger barn, we created a loft with a giant hammock net for kids to enjoy. Several old relics found during construction are now displayed on the walls. The smaller barn features a large accordion door that can open to host live music. We also added a few modern amenities to the park, including a hill-side berm with a concrete café and rooftop patio for trail-goers to grab a bite and a respite. Adult cyclists can enjoy the beer garden, with hardscape steps to the Berm rooftop patio, while kids burn off energy on custom swings. To continue the historical feel, crews installed a concrete form liner that gives the appearance of a century-old structure.
Other improvements include new restroom/shower facilities at Coler Camp, hammock stands, individual cedar tent platforms, and a fire pit for chilly nights! In Coler Grove, we added an open-air pavilion constructed from cypress. Instead of a roof, this unique structure has a waterproof ceiling with water-jetted patterns in open-air spaces. A large plum tree grove and five yoga platforms surround the pavilion for those looking for a slower form of exercise.
A unique feature of this project was the opportunity for Crossland Construction and Crossland Heavy to work side-by-side, from design to construction. CHC poured and rehabbed 9,500 LF of concrete trail, drilled shaft foundations for six structural steel trail bridges, and added site utilities for three parking/trailhead facilities. CHC also breached a pond dam to return the stream to its original state, while CCC added boardwalks around the area for sightseeing and relaxing. CHC removed a few trees in the stream but left the stumps to recreated the natural water flow. CHC self-performed all of their earthwork, site concrete, erosion control, bridge foundation work, and site utilities on the job.
Crossland began preconstruction for the bike preserve years before the project started to value-engineer materials, drive the budget, and ensure every pitched idea could fit into the design. When the work scope expanded, we kept a close working relationship with the design team and the owner to draw out and vet the plans at each phase, ensuring we maintained the budget and timeline throughout the project. We also hired the best sub in each trade to complete the work, and they made a significant impact on the project. Ultimately, it took a solid team effort across the board to make the new and improved Coler Mountain Bike Preserve a reality. Families and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy it for years to come.
Size: 9,500 feet hard surface trail, 14 acres
Delivery Method: Negotiated
Owner: NWA Trailblazers
Architect: Modus Studio
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