• Posted Feb 23, 2008

On Mile of Trail, 168 miles of Impact! With the connection, bicyclists will be able to ride on trail from Jefferson to Saylorville Lake to the north or Martensdale to the south.

It's less than a one-mile ribbon of asphalt. But talk to a central Iowa bicyclist and the Walnut Creek Trail connector holds the magic of the Yellow Brick Road, linking bicyclists between downtown and dozens of miles of trail to the west. Technically called the American Discovery Trail, Segment 3, the connector runs from the 5800 block of North Valley Drive, along Walnut Creek, to the Bill Riley Trail just north of Water Works Park. It's scheduled to be completed by fall.
Walnut Creek Trail connector The Walnut Creek Trail connector is scheduled to be completed this year. The trails that it will connect include: - More than 125 miles of major trails that weren't connected before. (33 miles on the Des Moines side and 92 miles on the suburban side of Segment 3). This includes the Neal Smith, Pat Dorrian, Meredith, Kruidenier, Bill Riley, Walnut Creek, Inter-Urban, Trestle to Trestle, Walnut Creek, Clive Greenbelt and Raccoon River Valley trails. - 79 total miles of connected trail (includes all neighborhood trails) on the Des Moines side of Segment 3. This includes trails in Urbandale, Johnston, the Great Western and Neal Smith and all connected trails in Des Moines. - 89 total miles of trail (includes all neighborhood trails) on the suburban side of Segment 3. This includes trails in West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Waukee and the Raccoon River Valley Trail all the way to Jefferson. Source: Richard Brown, Des Moines Park and Recreation trails director
In all, the segment will link 168 miles of trail. "This is one little piece that has big impact," said Don Tripp, director of Des Moines Park and Recreation. Last week, the Des Moines City Council awarded the $450,000 contract to finish the segment to Sheets Excavating of Montezuma. Construction of the connector was delayed last year until a wetlands issue was solved. Work on the 10-foot-wide trail is expected to begin the first week of April, and it must be completed within 50 work days, or 10 weeks. But weather delays are not counted in the 50 days, so it may be fall before it's finished if it's a late and rainy spring.

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