The City of North Bend announced on January 7th that residents have a new new paved trail connection for bikers and pedestrians – a 205 foot asphalt trail section that now connects William H. Taylor Park and the Train Depot to Park Street.
The new trail connection was courtesy of local company, Rainier Asphalt, which donated nearly $20,000 of material and labor to make the new connection a reality. The City of North Bend said the generous donation brings it one step closer to a complete off-road, multi-modal trail system.
According to a city news release, Rainier Asphalt owner and North Bend resident, Tom Merry, said he decided to invest in this trail because he wants to contribute to the community he lives in and loves.
“We are excited to be involved in the community in this way,” Merry said. “Ten or 20 years hence, I’d love to be able to drive around and see projects that we’ve done to improve our town.”
Merry founded Rainier Asphalt & Concrete in 2000 while he was a student at the University of Washington and ran the company from his home until 2006, when he opened his first office and yard location in North Bend. The company also recently opened a satellite location in Tacoma. It specializes in commercial, multi-family, industrial, right-of-way and public works projects. Over the years, Rainier has grown from a one-man operation to a company of approximately 70 employees.
On January 5th, 2017, Merry wrote a letter to Mayor Ken Hearing describing an initiative to provide up to $20,000 annually to City of North Bend for services they provide to help improve the community.
In his letter, Merry stated: “nature of the work could involve, but isn’t limited to: fixing trip hazards, fixing potholes, installing ADA (wheelchair ramps), installation of new sidewalks or paths, preventative pavement maintenance, traffic calming devices, pedestrian safety, etc.”
“In some ways, you (City of North Bend) were doing us a favor because we had leftover material at the end of our season and we needed a place to put it. Nonetheless, this experience planted the seed of how we could do similar things in the future to be a blessing to our neighbors and community,” he said.
In 2015, Rainier donated some asphalt seal coating at Torguson Park.