Wet spring weather delays viewpoint construction on ‘Manhattan Hill’

Sunset falls over Bluemont Hill, commonly known as Manhattan Hill, where construction will begin on a handicap accessible viewpoint in August of 2019. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

This spring’s rain has delayed plans to make the scenic outlook on Bluemont Hill, more commonly known as Manhattan Hill, more accessible.

The project consisted of adding a handicap accessible viewpoint platform above the current outlook and was originally planned to begin last fall and wrap up before the end of 2018. It was delayed due to contracting, Kitty Pursley, secretary of the Manhattan Kiwanis Club, said in an emailed statement.

“We expected to get through the process earlier than we did and since contracts were not signed until (I believe October), we were already getting into the fall and thought it would be easier to start in the spring,” Pursley said.

However, recent weather has further delayed the planned construction.

“The wet springtime weather delayed the Bluemont Hill Overlook Project,” Wyatt Thompson, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said in an email. “D&R Construction is now set to begin work in August. Work should take 30-45 days. I anticipate the Kiwanis Club and Manhattan Parks and Recreation will host a ribbon cutting event to officially open the viewing platform once the work is complete.”

The viewpoint project also serves as commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International, which was founded in 1915. The local chapter built the iconic Manhattan sign on the side of Bluemont Hill in 1927, and has maintained it ever since, cleaning and whitewashing the letters twice each year.

Hey, hi, hello! I’m Rachel Hogan, the copy chief for The Collegian. I’m a senior in journalism from Olathe, Kansas. When I’m not at work in the newsroom, I like to spend my time cuddling with my dog, working as a barista and laughing with my friends.