Bentonville firm CEI forms department for parks, trails, recreation work

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,960 views 

CEI has developed trails near Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Bentonville firm CEI Engineering Associates Inc., which has about 150 employees in 10 offices throughout the country, has formed a new department focusing solely on outdoor recreation development.

CEI President and CEO Jeff Geurian said forming the department responds to the growing demand for outdoor recreation facilities and pathways across the region.

“To meet the multifaceted needs of existing and future clients, CEI has moved forward with establishing a team dedicated to the record growth and development of our region and other areas of the country desiring to provide their citizens with state-of-the-art recreational facilities,” Geurian said in a statement.

The company said Jacob Shy is the new department’s manager. Shy has over 15 years of experience predominantly focused on developing new parks and trails throughout Northwest Arkansas.

Over the past 15 years, Shy and CEI staff members have completed more than 100 miles of trails stretching from Fayetteville to Bella Vista, the area surrounding Siloam Springs, and multiple hard surface trails in Dallas. Recent notable local projects include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Elevator/Tower and Trail, Centennial Park in Fayetteville, city of Van Buren master planning, and multiple recreational projects for the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism as its on-call engineers and landscape architects.

“Jacob and his team have the experience and tenacity necessary to drive the department and its projects forward,” Geurian said.

Centennial Park is a 228-acre park developed by the city of Fayetteville with financial support from the Walton Family Foundation. The park was envisioned and designed as a cycling-activated park with state-of-the-art cyclocross and mountain biking facilities.

The park was also strategically planned to provide area residents and enthusiasts with access to unique and challenging trail infrastructure unlike any other in the region located in an area of preserved green space adjacent to several neighborhoods and to complement Fayetteville’s existing 45 miles of shared-use paved trails and 38 miles of natural-surface trails.

CEI was retained to provide master-planning and construction documentation in collaboration with the city of Fayetteville, Walton Family Foundation, Northwest Arkansas Trailblazers, Rock Solid Trails and nationwide cyclocross and cross-country trail experts.

The park is designated to host the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships.

CEI has provided civil engineering, land surveying and landscape architecture for more than 48 years to clients across the region, state and nation.

A CEI spokeswoman said eight employees work in the new department. They are all avid cyclists and use the trail system frequently.