Archive for Updates

It’s been called the, “Golden Age of Trails Development” in Eastern Iowa. With corridors identified, projects designed and on the books, the next few years will be tremendously busy and filled with exciting buzz and new trail openings. As a note, timelines are subject to change, especially as jurisdictions learn about financial impacts associated with COVID-19.

CeMar Trail


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  • Cedar Rapids: Separated trail and on-street bicycle/improved sidewalk facilities from Cedar Lake to H Avenue NE (2020).
  • Cedar Rapids: 29th Street NE to 33rd Street Drive SE including 1st Avenue underpass (2020–2021).
  • Marion: Bridge over Marion Boulevard Demolition (2020)
  • Marion: Hard surface overlay through Legion and Thomas Parks (2020–2021)
  • Marion: Bridge over Indian Creek rehabilitation (2020–2021)
  • Marion: New bridge over Marion Boulevard with art component (2021)
  • Marion: 33rd Street Drive SE to Highway 100 connection (2022+)

Grant Wood Trail — West

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  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Council Street to existing trail east of C Avenue, including Blairs Ferry Road NE underpass (2021).
  • Marion: Bridge over Marion Boulevard Demolition (2020)
  • Marion: Bridge over Indian Creek rehabilitation (2020–2021)
  • Marion: New bridge over Marion Boulevard with art component (2021)
  • The trail will eventually connect from the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at Hwy. 100 to the Grant Wood Trail in Marion and beyond.
  • Linn County Trails Association provided $75,000 in funding for the design of a connection between Council Street NE, beside the active rail corridor, and to the existing Cedar Valley Nature Trail. The Association’s advocacy was crucial in establishing right of way acquisition from Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) and moving the project forward quickly.

Grant Wood Trail — East


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  • Marion: Land acquisitions are complete for the Marion Central Corridor project. The project will facilitate a bicycle and pedestrian connection between Uptown Marion and 31st Street, where the Grant Wood Trail picks back up and heads east into Linn County. Grading work will start in 2020 with pavement likely in 2021.
  • Linn County: Work continues to fill the gap between Oxley Road and Creekside Road, adjacent to Secrist Road. (estimated 2021–2022).
  • The Iowa DOT is working on an intersection improvement at Springville Road and US-151. The improvement is anticipated to include trail accommodations allowing for a connection from Springville to the Grant Wood Trail.
  • Future improvements to the trail will connect eastward to Martelle in Jones County. Vision plans for the trail connect Cedar Rapids to the Mississippi River.
  • Linn County Trails Association purchased the rail right of way and have a long history of preserving the trail for use. The Association gifted the trail to Linn County in 2005.

Highway 100 Trail (Linn County)


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  • Construction on the trail through Morgan Creek Park is possible this Fall and Winter (2020–2021).
  • Construction on the trail from 42nd Street, next to Xavier High School, and onto the Cedar River’s edge should begin next year (2021).
  • A route study is underway for the connection between Morgan Creek Park and Covington (2022+).
  • The trail will continue from Covington to the Biechler Bridge, which will connect both segments of trail on either side of the Cedar River. This will be the last phase of the project to see completion.
  • Linn County Trails Association provided $100,000 in funding to accelerate the design component of the trail between Xavier High School and the Cedar River’s edge. LCTA also provided $25,000 in funding to accelerate the trail component through Morgan Creek Park.

Edgewood Trail (Cedar Rapids)


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  • Extension from Ellis Road NW to Cedar River bridge (2020).
  • Connection between Blairs Ferry Road NE and North River Boulevard NE (2021).
  • Future phases will extend the width of the trail on the Edgewood Road bridge over Cedar River; complete the gaps between the Cedar River and Blairs Ferry Road; and fill in the gap between O Avenue NE and 33rd Street SW. No timeline is defined for these phases.
  • Linn County Trails Association championed the prioritization of the connection from Glass Road NE, over the Cedar River and to the Ellis Trail. This project will move forward quickly thanks to the Association’s advocacy.

Cherokee Trail


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  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Morgan Creek Park and Cherry Hill Park (2020).
  • Linn County: The trail will continue north into Morgan Creek Park. Construction on this segment is possible this Fall and Winter (2020–2021).
  • Cedar Rapids: On-street facility between Cherry Hill Park and Jacolyn Park (2021).
  • Cedar Rapids: Connection between Jacolyn Park, through Cedar Hills and Cherokee Parks, to Edgewood Road (2021).
  • Future phases of this trail will wind along E and F Avenues NW, ultimately landing at the edge of the Cedar River and the Ellis Trail.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail — North (Linn County)

  • Grants are secured for hard surface treatment on the trail from Center Point through Urbana. Construction could start late this year or early next (2020–2021).

Other Projects

Indian Creek Trail (Marion)

  • This trail will connect the Boyson Trail in Marion to Tower Terrace Road along Indian Creek. Letting for bids is likely to occur in early 2021, with construction to follow.

10th Avenue Sidepaths (Marion)

  • This project will add multiuse paths to both sides of 10th Avenue, from 35th Street to Eagleview Drive.
  • Letting for bids is likely to occur early 2021, with construction to follow.

MISD/Safe Routes to Schools Trail (Marion)

  • This project will utilize vacant railroad right of way to connect Marion High School with elementary, intermediate, and middle schools on a 10-foot sidepath.
  • Project was let for bids in March 2020 with a late construction start date of July this year. The first phase utilizes former railroad right of way to get from Vernon Middle School to the east side of 15th Street, then south to the intersection with 3rd Avenue. https://www.cityofmarion.org/home/showdocument?id=12574 PG 87

On-street Bikeways (Cedar Rapids)

  • 3rd Avenue SE Protected Bike Lanes, 5th Street SE to 8th Street SE (2020)
  • 12th Avenue SE/Coe Road NE One-way Bikeway from 4th Avenue SE to E Avenue NE (2020)
  • 13th Street SE/College Dr NE One-way Bikeway from 3rd Avenue SE to E Avenue NE (2020)
  • Center Point Road NE Bikeway from J Avenue NE to 29th Street NE (2020)
  • Bowling Street SW Bike Lanes, 50th Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2020)
  • O Avenue NW Bikeway from 16th Street NW to Edgewood Road (2021)
  • 6th Street SW Bikeway from 33rd Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2021)
  • 12 Avenue SE Bikeway from 7th Street SE to 17th Street SE (2021)
  • Center Point Road NE Bikeway from Coe Road NE to H Avenue NE (2021)
  • Bowling Street SW Bike Lanes, 33rd Avenue SW to Wilson Avenue SW (2021)
  • Oakland Road NE Bike Lanes, Center Street NE to Regent Street NE (2021)
  • 8th Avenue SW Bike Lanes, 15th Street SW to Rockford Road SW (2021)
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The Trail Counters are Back

All 12 trail counters have been reinstalled on the Metro Trail System after a long cold winter. Linn County Trails Association maintains the counters and collects data to measure usage of the trails. We us this data to encourage the cities and the County to maintain the trails and to build more trails!

The trail counters are the blue or brown posts on either side of the trail and a 6 digit number is displayed at the top of one of the posts. Please read the count and send it to LCTA from your smart phone. Just go to the LCTA web page:

linncountytrails.org/trailcount

The location name of the counter is on the post sign.  Enter the 6 digit number displayed at the top of the post. Date and time that you send in the report are reported automatically so do not enter date and time unless you have written down the count and are reporting it later. Wave you had over the beam to assure the count increments and report “counter is not working” if it doesn’t so we will know to replace the batteries.

You can download a free QR Reader from Google Play or Apple that will automatically go to the trailcount website and enter the counter location. All you need to do is enter the 6 digit number. Another option is to just save the URL “linncountytrail.org/trailcount” on your phone home page.

It’s time to get out and walk, run, skate, or bike! Whenever you pass a trail counter, please stop and report the count.  In doing so you will be helping get more and better trails!

Click here for a map of the trail counter locations

 

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February 2019 Board Meeting Canceled

Due to the poor weather conditions, the board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2019 has been CANCELED.

All board meetings are open to the public. The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 2019.

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Winter Trail Counters

LCTA maintains 12 trail counters on the Metro Trail system. We remove the counter electronics in the winter from most of the locations but we maintain the counters at five locations which are:

  • Boyson Trail, Marion
  • Sac & Fox Trail, East Post Road
  • Lindale Trail, near C Ave NE
  • Cedar River Trail near McCloud Run
  • Cedar Lake Loop Trail

Please make an effort to read and report these counts whenever you can. When you send a report, please enter your initials in the Comments field. Be sure to report problems with the counters including readability of the display. We are attempting to improve the visibility of the display.

Perhaps the easiest way to report the counts is to put the link linncountytrails.org/trailcount on your cell phone home page. You can also load a QR app on your phone to read the QR code on the counter post. This will automatically load the counter location.  If instead you click the trailcount link you will have to select the location from a drop down list. The location number and name are displayed on the counter post. In either case, do not bother with entering date and time because your phone will automatically insert the current date and time. Date and time entries are needed if you write the counts down on paper and report them later from home.

Thank you  for help with this important task. Trail usage records are used to justify the need for more trails and maintenance of current trails. Trail useage records for the last 14 years are available at https://linncountytrails.org/maps/trail-usage/

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Trails are Open

The weather is warming and it is time to get out on the trails for another season!

Linn County Trails Association works to promote trails, trail maintenance and construction of new trails. An important means of doing this is by measuring trail usage to demonstrate demand for more and better trails. We need you to read and report the trail counts. Trail counters are at 12 locations within the Metro trail system as listed below. The counters may be recognized by two brown or blue posts located across from each other. The tallest post has a window on the top with a 6 digit display of the accumulated count. Simply record and report the number.

The easiest way to report a trail count is with a smart phone while at the trail counter location. Type into your browser linncountytrails.org/trailcount and fill in the form. The counter location is shown on the post and date and time are automatically recorded when reporting at the counter. If you store the trailcount URL link on your home page, you can save the effort of retyping it every time. Alternatively, you can also install a free QR code reader on your phone and read the QR code on the post to automatically bring up the form and chose the counter location. These instructions are also on the counter post.

While you are reporting, please run a test to verify that the counter is working, by slowly waving your hand across the beam between the two post and verify that the count increments. There is a check box on the reporting form for “counter is not working”. We do struggle  to keep  fresh batteries in the counters.

 Last year saw completion of Cedar Valley Nature Trail paving through Center Point which was supported by a $103,000 donation from LCTA. This year we are working to a) support funding for an extension of the Lindale Trail to connect the Cedar River Trail and b) support engineering planning for the Hwy 100 Trail near Xavier High School going towards the Cedar River and eventually across the river at the old railroad bridge pilings downstream from the Hwy 100 bridge. Through demonstrated trail usage and financial contributions from LCTA supporters, we can speed up the development of these trails.

Thank you
Linn County Trails Association

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More than $40-million dollars allocated to fund trail development during mayor’s tenure.

The Linn County Trails Association board passed a resolution Monday night recognizing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett for his public service and contributions to trails infrastructure during his time in office.

Mayor Corbett was instrumental in reallocating the formula for the distribution of federal gas tax funds for trail development—from 5% to 80%—during federal funding years 2016–20, greatly assisting in the expansion of the recreational trails system in Linn County during that period.

The Hoover Trail extension, from Ely to the southern Linn County Border, is the first trails project to benefit from the funding reallocation and will open this month. A public ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for the Hoover extension on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 10 AM behind Ely City Hall.

Numerous additional trails projects have benefited from the funding prioritization and will see construction in the next 5 years, including the CeMar Trail, the Lindale Trail Extension, the Edgewood Road Trail, and the Cherokee Trail.

Linn County Trails Association commends Mayor Corbett for his wisdom, foresight, effectiveness and ongoing support of the development of recreational trails in Linn County.

 

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After several months of construction and final touches, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail paving project from Schultz Road to Ash Lane in Center Point is complete.

Linn County Trails Association and Linn County Conservation will join to hold a public ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebratory trail excursion, beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at the Center Point Depot Museum, 700 E. Washington St, Center Point, IA. Rain or shine, guests are encouraged to bike to the event.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail opened to the public in 1983. Linn County Trails Association’s 2015 Capital Campaign raised more than $100,000 toward the asphalt and concrete surfacing project. A plaque at the train depot in Center Point displays the names of donors and organizations that contributed to the project. The total project cost was $1.36 million, including major funding from Linn County Conservation and $600,000 from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s State Recreational Trails Grant.

See the event agenda »

Event organizers say the Pave-the-Trail campaign was a milestone in success. “We’d never before taken on a fundraising initiative of this size,” said LCTA president Tom Peffer. “We were overwhelmed by the support. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous LCTA members and donors.”

Both groups’ efforts continue to help close the 22-mile gap in hard surface along the trail, from Center Point to La Porte City. Linn County Conservation is already working to pave the trail to the Linn County line, having just replaced a bridge over West Blue Creek. A bridge replacement over East Blue Creek is tentatively scheduled for next year, which will allow for hard surfacing to continue to Urbana.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects nearly 70 miles from Cedar Falls to Ely on a mix of soft and hard surfaces. It is one of the nation’s oldest rail-trails, and an important segment on the American Discovery Trail, which will eventually connect the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco to the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware.

RSVP »

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Linn County Conservation has let us know that the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from Boyson Road North to Robbins is closed today (6/5) and possibly tomorrow for seal coating the asphalt surface. The CVNT from Shultz Road to Iowa Street is scheduled to be seal coated on Wednesday, so it will be closed during that application.
Please let the crews complete their work and do not cross any barricades you encounter on the trail.

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After several months of construction, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail has reopened to the public in Center Point.

The trail is still closed from 56th Street to Urbana Road due to the bridge replacement over West Blue Creek, and intermittent closures on the trail south through Center Point may be required this summer.

 

We appreciates your patience during these trail improvement projects!

More at MyCountyParks.com

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The parking lot at Cedar Valley Nature Trail — Boyson Road will be CLOSED on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Resealing work will be underway on the asphalt parking surface.

Parking can still be found at the County Home Road and Collins Road lots during this closure.

The closure is anticipated to last one day. Thank you for your patience!

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