Inmates from Stewart Conservation Camp have been working since Monday to renovate a stone wall, part of the improvements for Carson City's Linear Park Trail.
The wall is being rebuilt to protect bikers and children headed for school and extends about a quarter-mile from the Fifth Street roundabout west, past the Carson City Waste Water Reclamation Plant.
A joint effort between Carson City Parks and Recreation Department and Nevada State Prisons, the project probably will be completed next week, according to Nevada State Prison Warden Michael Budge.
Inmate David Midgley said sore muscles and smashed fingers have taken their toll. The work is heavy and dirty, but the prisoners are starting to bond as a team and take pride in the project. The group of about six inmates can complete 30 feet in about four hours.
"This is new to all of us, but after the first couple of days, we started getting the hang of it," he said. "At first, no one wanted to be here, but then they began to work together. They have a goal."
Correctional officer Stan Haskell said the group needs little supervision and has organized well on its own. One, now known as Superman, is good at lifting the large rocks and another has a talent for fitting them together. The outer wall is built first, then the center filled with rubble.
The wall is being repaired with materials at hand. Most of the stones were salvaged from previous projects and all were mined in the prison's quarry, the same stone used on a number of historical projects, including the Nevada State Museum and Capitol.
The new bike path will parallel the wall on the north side away from traffic, then swing south under the proposed freeway, toward Fremont Elementary School.
The dirt path will be treated with a special polymer, then tilled and rolled to make a hard surface and the area will be landscaped with trees and vines, according to Haskell.
The linear park trail starts at Governor's Field off Roop Street and ends near the freeway right-of-way, east of Saliman Road.
The wall averages between four a five feet in height and was originally built by inmates in the late 1950s, under the direction of Warden Pat Bernard.