The state Transportation Commission has approved funding for eight trail projects around the state. D-O-T spokesman Stu Anderson says people clearly like Iowa’s system of trails. “We continue to see a large demand for trail projects, trail funding in the state,” he says.
The D-O-T Commission handed out about two-point-two-million in funding this week. It had requests totaling about eight and-a-half million. Anderson says some of the projects to win funding in this round have been underway for years. One’s another phase of the Four Mile Creek Greenway Project sponsored by Polk County Conservation Board and the parks and recreation department of the city of Ankeny.
It’ll be a little over three miles which he says will connect the existing Neal Smith Trail to the trail system in the city of Ankeny. That’s “linkage” is happening with a lot of existing trailways, the planner explains. “We do have a lot of trails in Iowa and an emphasis with our grant programs is to provide more connectivity among those trails so users can hop of a trail and see different parts of Iowa on a continuous trail system,” he says.
Another project to get state funding is a stretch of green space in the city of Waterloo. It’s for a trail along the Cedar River, part of the ongoing “Waterloo River Rennaissance.” Other proposals to win funding were in more rural areas, like one around Coon Rapids. They got funding for a “town loop trail” as part of the White Rock Conservancy project near Coon Rapids which will help connect trails in town to the nature refuge outside town.
Anderson says in addition to town and rural bike and walking paths, there’s the LakeView off-highway vehicle park in Sac County. Funding went to the Lake View off-road vehicle park at Solon — near the Lake MacBride State Park — to improve parking, maintenance and bathrooms at the facility where four-wheelers and dirt bike operators are welcome to ride. Anderson says there’s strong demand for that kind of outdoor trail, too.