The Bettendorf City Council voted Tuesday to award a $1 million contract for the construction of the Middle Road recreational trail project that drew protests from residents in the area last year.

The contract, which was awarded to Valley Construction of Rock Island, includes the construction of a 10-foot-wide recreation trail along Middle Road from Duck Creek to Devils Glen Road.

During discussions about the project last spring, some residents voiced opposition to the project over concerns about public safety and questioned whether the trail was needed.

Public Works director Brian Schmidt said he expects construction of the trail to begin this spring, but did not have a estimate of when it would be complete.

Valley Construction’s bid was 14 percent lower than the city’s estimate.

Alderman Lisa Brown, at large, offered her thanks to Parks and Recreation director Steve Grimes and local cycling groups who worked to make the project possible.

“It’s going to be an outstanding addition to our trail system,” she said.

In other business , the council approved plans and specifications for the reconstruction of 18th Street from Maplecrest to Echodale Drive.

Bettendorf resident Chad Miller spoke to the council about an ongoing dispute about an easement through his property the city will use to build a recreation trail along Crow Creek from Middle Road to Crow Creek Park.

Miller said the city’s easement is not valid.

When Miller began to speak during the public comment of the portion of the meeting, he asked to be allowed to exceed the three-minute time limit, and said if he wasn’t, he would continue to come back to council meetings and speak until he had said what he wanted to say.

Mayor Bob Gallagher Jr. asked Miller to get to his point.

“There’s no sense in trying to belittle us,” Gallagher said.

Asked by Gallagher to state his position, Miller said the city’s easement was not valid.

Gallagher replied, “We respectfully disagree.”