Probably the talk of the trails this month would be what's going on at the Cedar View Trail (CVT). Or better yet, what's missing? Well about 300 feet of trail is what is missing!
It should be no real surprise to most people, as we have been alerting you that as the highway 34 by-pass project got underway in the area of the trail there would be some changes made.
More specifically, about 300 feet of the trail would be removed and a bridge would be built at the same level as the existing trail. After that the four-lane highway would be built underneath the bridge.
In early July the contractor began removing the 300 feet of 30-foot high fill that has been serving as the CVT for the past six years. This fill was of course originally constructed in the 1940's for the relocated Rock Island Railroad. So, some 60 years later, one manmade landscape is replaced by another and "nature" is asked, or rather told, to absorb the change. And I guess that it will.
Both of these projects though about sixty years apart are and have been a major impact to the natural makeup of Jefferson County. Both have been for the sake of transportation. It's been both exciting and sad to stand on the older of these projects (the RR/Trail) and watch the newer one (4-lane highway) make its impact upon the land. It is both a major project and a major change to our landscape!
At a Pre-Construction meeting with the IDOT and the bridge contractor (Schmidt Construction of Winfield, IA) on Friday, July 14th the contractor stated that he planned to start on the CVT Bridge about August 7th and hoped to complete it by the end of November of this year. (Constructions schedules are always subject to change, so be alert.)
The contractor is planning to use the trail as access for the workers, materials and equipment to get to the bridge site. This means that people will need to be very cautious when using the trail from 32nd Street to the bridge site.
For safety and liability reasons we asked that you respect the barricades on the trail at each side of the bridge project and don't enter the construction zone. If you use the trail from 32nd Street it is approximately one-half mile to the bridge site. If you enter from 223rd Street it would be about 1 mile. So you would be able to do a one or two-mile walk or ride, and keep up on the progress of the bridge and the highway grading.