Second mile of Woodward connector trail lands state grant

The Dallas County Conservation Board heard Sept. 10 from Waukee Assistant Public Works Director Kevin Vtchoticky, standing left, and Waukee Development Services Director Brad Deets, standing right, regarding a signalized trail crossing on N.W. Sunrise Drive in Waukee.

The $392,610 State Recreational Trails grant awarded Tuesday will go toward the second mile (in red) at the Woodward end of the Let’s Connect connector trail. Construction of the first mile (in yellow) will begin in 2020.

ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — The Let’s Connect connector trail project between Perry and Woodward has been awarded a $392,610 State Recreational Trails grant, the Iowa Transportation Commission announced Tuesday.

The state funding will go toward the second mile at the Woodward end of the Let’s Connect connector trail. Construction of the first mile from Woodward, partially funded with a $322,208 Federal Recreational Trail Grant, will begin in 2020 at the western city limits of Woodward at S Avenue and move westward to R Avenue. Tuesday’s state grant will then be used for construction between R Avenue and Quinlan Avenue.

A $366,000 State Recreational Trails Grant awarded in October 2017 was used to build the first two miles of the connector trail at the Perry end, between 18th Street and 130th Street. The first leg was opened in October 2018.

The Dallas County Conservation Board’s High Trestle Trail extension to the Raccoon River Valley Trail project was one of four projects in Iowa to share in this year’s $1.5 million State Recreational Trails Program fund.

Other recreational trails receiving grants in the annual cycle were:

  • Iowa River Trail from Steamboat Rock to Edgington Avenue Paving in Hardin County received $375,000
  • Heart of Iowa Nature Trail Paving from 560th Avenue to South Skunk River Bridge in Story County received $530,000
  • Tatonka Ska Trace Rail Trail Phase III(a) in Dickinson County received $202,390

The State Recreational Trails Program was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. Funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations through an annual application-based program.

The Dallas County Conservation Board still needs private and corporate donations to make the $5 million Let’s Connect project a reality. With the latest State Recreational Trail Grant, nearly 75 percent the funds have been raised.

Private and corporate donations are used as matching dollars for the major state and federal grants, and the project proceeds only as quickly as funding allows. Contributions of $1,000 or more are eligible to receive recognition on trailhead signs.

To make a contribution to the Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector project, visit the Let’s Connect website or contact Dallas County Conservation Director Mike Wallace at 515-465-3577.


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