The state Transportation Commission approved just over two million dollars Tuesday for bike trails and related projects. Department of Transportation planner Craig Markley says one of the trail projects is near Cedar Rapids. He says it will construct one-point-four miles of paved trail in the central and northeastern part of Cedar Rapids. Markley says just over 542-thousand dollars was approved for the project — about 70-percent of the cost.
Funds were also approved for a project in central Iowa. Markley says it’ll develop 33-point-one miles of former railroad right of way from Herndon in Guthrie County, to Waukee in Dallas County. He says the commission approved 780-thousand-300-dollars for the project.
Markley says “rails to trails” projects in northern and southern Iowa are also getting funding. He says they’ll use 300-thousand dollars to help purchase two rail corridors from the Union Pacific from Thorton to Mason City in Cerro Gordo County and the other near Eddyville in Monroe County. The commission also approved 200-thousand dollars to pave a trail in eastern Iowa. Markley says the project consists of applying a three-inch layer of asphalt over the existing Prairie Farmer trail. He says it’s a 20-mile multi-use trail that connects the towns of Cresco, Ridgeway and Calmar.
Markley says each of the communities will chip in money to help complete the projects. He says they can match “in kind” with materials or labor, but he says most of the time they put in money or some type of other trail grant. The commission approved the funds at their meeting Tuesday in Ames.