RFP Q&A - Sandpoint Lower Basin Black DH trails

What role could volunteers play in the project?

POP has 20 years of trail advocacy and volunteer trail building experience in the Sandpoint area. We envision volunteers helping with tasks such as corridor clearing and bridge building, as well as future maintenance of new trails once completed (per our MOU with the City of Sandpoint).

How do these trail segments fit into the overall plan for the area?

Segments 201 and 104 are actually phase 3 in a multi-year project. Phase 1 was a 2.4 mile climbing trail POP built with a local contractor in 2021 and 2022. Phase 2 was the rebuild of the existing Lower Basin trail and construction of new segment 105 in 2023. Phase 3 is the current project, and future phases on Schweitzer and Forest Service property are planned in 2024 and beyond. Flagging and design of 4.8 miles of new trail mostly on USFS property just east of the City property this project are on will take place in 2024, with construction beginning on those segments in 2025.

What are the parameters around corridor width and flexibility in final layout of trail?

The flag line should be viewed as a suggestion. Generally it is a 75' corridor. Contractors are free to alter the exact alignment within that 75' corridor. Significant alterations beyond that must be discussed and cleared with POP and possibly with the City as the landowner. We welcome builder choice and creative freedom.

How do trails fit in with the City's other objectives in the Lower Basin?

The City of Sandpoint gets ~40% of city drinking water from Little Sand Creek. Every stream crossing within these alignments feeds the creek upstream of the water treatment plant. Drinking water protection is THE primary objective of the City's Watershed Management Plan, of which this trail plan is an appendix. For these reasons, contractors must put erosion and sediment control at the forefront of their proposals.

What are the permitting requirements and how will POP assist?
  • City of Sandpoint Watershed Construction permit: POP will apply and procure this on behalf of the contractor.
  • Construction General Permit / IPDES / SWPPP: Contractor must develop SWPPP and procure.
  • SHPO permit is already in process. Likely will be a simple decision memo from the state. Any additional permitting requirements from SHPO will be taken care of by POP.
  • No building permit is required for the proposed bike overpass at switchback 4. Stamped engineered drawings based on a structural concept produced by the trail builder will be procured by POP, who has a structural engineering firm as a sponsor that has offered these services pro-bono.
  • Standard trail structures (bridges, jumps, etc.) do not require any permitting. Structures more than 30" above the trail surface will require plans submitted to the city for approval. Bridges and boardwalks built by POP have been based on USFS standard trail plans, which are accepted by the City.
Can the trails include gap jumps, creek gaps, and other features typical of "black" or "double black" trails?

Gap features are allowed, but clearly visible ride-arounds are required. Lines of sight leading up to gaps are expected to be excellent. City has a risk acceptance methodology that makes gap jumps possible with precautions and robust signage in place.

Should contractors build signage into their proposals?

NO: POP will develop signage simultaneously while the trail is being built. POP has worked with InterMtn (out of British Columbia) on safety and wayfinding signage across the Lower Basin trail system and will do so for these trails as well.

Can segment 104 make use of culverts for water management? Are culverts required to be metal or double wall HDPE?  Is there a preferred diameter?  
We have used 8" and 10" HDPE culverts in the Lower Basin. Metal is not required. Where runoff in excess of what a 10" culvert can handle is expected, we have doubled up the 8" or just built short bridges. Most seasonal stream crossings we typically build an 8 or 10' bridge, and have used culverts to manage water in big sections of flow where lots of dirt has been transplanted to shape berms and other flow features.
Is decommissioning the old trail part of this RFP?


Although it is a restricted motorized use area, will dirt bikes and UTV's be allowed during construction for transportation of personnel, tools, and fuel?

Yes. Our license agreement with the City allows POP to used motorized vehicles (motorcycles and ATVs) to access trails for maintenance purposes. Contractors would be allowed to do the same.

Do you have more specifications for the flyover on segment 201 - length, height, width, desired building materials, desired design characteristics, etc.  Without a lot of information for this feature, the price could range from $50,000 to $1,000,000.

A local contractor, Tyler Salvage, is already working on plans for this flyover. Tyler runs his own mill and is a licensed contractor. He is interested in partnering with an outside trail builder to build this structure. Interested builders may coordinate with Tyler on this component of the project. [email protected]

Could we submit a bid without the flyover?  


What is the "nature" of segment 104? Is it meant to be more of a Whistler or Legacy-style jump trail or have more of a natural feel, with contoured features that work with the land?

104 is envisioned to offer more of the bike park jump trail experience compared to 201's more natural feel. That said, there are multiple natural terrain features along the alignment that should be incorporated into the trail, such as rock rolls/drops/step-downs, etc. In this regard, the trail won't be a full on Whistler-style jump trail, but in between these natural terrain features we are looking for something closer to the bike-park jump trail experience with optional ride-around for all gap features and large drops.

What exactly can POP provide in terms of helping build structures?

For standard trail bridges and boardwalks (like those found in the USFS standard trail plan) that are UNDER 20  feet in length, POP will provide design drawings to the City and prepare materials per the trail building contractor's requests.

  • In the over 16 such structures POP has built in the Lower Basin over the last four years we have harvested stringer and sill materials from standing or downed timber on site (typically larches or Doug firs for stringer materials and western redcedar for sills), and used either imported drain rock or rocks harvested on site for stabilization of bridge landings on hand or machine-excavated benches.
  • POP crews are able to continue doing so for this project.
  • POP will procure all decking materials from local mills. POP will provide all decking fasteners and hardware (these are donated to the club by a local sponsor).
  • POP crews can transport decking and hardware, and manually move stringers up to 20' in length ahead of the contractor's machines to get structures in place before contractor needs to cross a stream.
  • All bridge and structure work can be coordinated between POP's project manager and trail contractor towards the beginning of the project so bridges can be completed in a timely manner.
  • For the 30' bridge crossing towards the bottom of segment 201, POP can support the contractor in transport of material and assembly, but stringers longer than 20' are likely too heavy for volunteers to move into place, so support from contractor's excavator is likely required.
What if the builder wants to build a structure without volunteers?

POP can still help procure materials. Our local mill partners should be able to provide any dimensional milled lumber required for a bridge or structure project. The intent of using volunteers and POP-provided labor on structures is two-fold: Keep costs down and engage our active and motivated volunteer community in the project.

Who will build the switchback 4 flyover / overpass?

This structure is likely beyond the abilities of POP volunteer crews. We are looking for a builder with experience with similar elevated wood structures. POP can procure and transport lumber and hardware for the structure, provide volunteer labor to assist the trail building contractor in its assembly, and, as mentioned earlier, get an engineer to review and stamp structural drawings as required by the City.

Can contractors collaborate with other builders or local trail builders?

Absolutely! POP will share contact information for all participants in the pre-bid meeting to encourage partnering up on the project. There are a few local trail builders who might be available to work for a larger outside contractor. A contact list for all interested project partners will be linked here shortly.

What is the deal with the High Point reroute additional alternative on Schweitzer property?

Pend Oreille Pedalers will act as project manager for the the reroute of High Point Trail on the south ridge of Schweitzer Resort. The property owner, Schweitzer Mountain Properties (SMP) is in the early stages of design and engineering for a ~100 unit housing development located on the site of the existing High Point trail.

In 2024 SMP will begin initial site prep for the development, with infrastructure going in summer 2025. A new road to the development will also impact Sidewinder and Sparky, existing trails between High Point and the Schweitzer roundabout.

Ultimately the project will require design and construction of around 2.5 miles of new trail. SMP will fund the project, with POP working as project manager liaising between the builder and SMP. The desired timeline for the project is:

  • Late May - early June 2024: Design and flagging (as snow melts on the ridge)
  • Late June 2024: Begin construction of rerouted High Point trail
  • October 2024: Construction complete.

The primary difference between this project and the Lower Basin black DH RFP is the design and flagging of the High Point trail must be included in contractor's proposals. Without having a flagged corridor and with relatively little information on the terrain limitations, POP is open to various proposal formats from contractors interested in the SMP project either in addition to POP's Lower Basin project or as an alternative to the Lower Basin project.

Could permits secured for the Lower Basin project be used for the Schweitzer reroute?

Unlikely. Different landowner, different permitting requirements. This should discuss with Lance at Schweitzer. In the past Schweitzer has been VERY lax about permitting requirements for trail projects on their private property.

Are there GPS files available for the different trail segments?


Will E-bikes be allowed on the Lower Basin trails?

E-bikes are allowed on all trails in the Lower Basin. The existing USFS trail segments east of the City property are in the process of being formally recognized by the local district ranger office. The plan is to designate existing and future trails on USFS property "restricted motorized trails" with the restriction dictating that only Class 1 e-bikes be allowed. Access to existing and future USFS trails will only be possible from trailheads on City and Schweitzer property.

Does the City have any special requirements on insurance?

Nothing beyond what is already described in the RFP.

Will liability for the trails be transferred to the City or POP after construction is complete?

Yes, as will maintenance responsibilities, as described in the City and POP's existing MOU.

Should interested builders offer a warranty?

Not required, but it might help a proposal's chances if a limited warranty is included in the offer.

Is the construction timeline flexible?

The timeline described in the RFP was determined based on years of experience building and maintaining trails in the Lower Basin. Peak trail building season is immediately after snow starts melting in the spring. If it's a really low snow season in Sandpoint, construction could start EARLIER (with El Nino forecasts are calling for 80% of less of average snowfall). Typically, by late June or early July we enter the "moon dust" season, after which point trail construction becomes nearly impossible. Builders unable to do the work within the described window may propose alternative dates, but we recommend either getting the work done by early to mid July or not even trying to begin until late August or early September, when we typically see the rains return after our hot, dry summer.

What is the submittal timeline for proposals?

The proposal timeline is included in RFP document. Proposals must be submitted to [email protected] by December 4th.