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Work Begins to Connect Two Major Bike Routes Through Central Iowa

Dallas County Conservation Board

Construction will begin any day now on the first phase of a project to connect two Central Iowa bike trails. Completion of it, however, may take a while.

The so-called connector project will fill in a nine-mile gap between the High Trestle Trail and the Raccoon River Valley Trail between Perry and Woodward in Dallas County. Fundraising for the $5 million effort is about halfway there. The executive director of the Dallas County Conservation Board, Mike Wallace, says when complete, a large network of trails touching six counties and more than 20 towns will be open to bike riders.

“There’s 25 miles plus of the High Trestle Trail, which connects into the Des Moines Metro trail system," he says. "There’s 89 miles of the Raccoon River Valley Trail that goes into Guthrie, Greene and, of course, Dallas County.”

Wallace says funds so far have been spent on getting ready for construction.

“We were able to hire an engineer to do some preliminary design and route feasibility studies," he says. "We’ve been actively acquiring the necessary parcels needed to connect Point A to Point B.”

Wallace says work will begin soon on a mile-and-a-half stretch leading out of Perry. He says it may take a couple of years to raise the money needed to complete the nine miles.