Pottawattamie County Conservation Announces Next Phase of Railroad Highway Trail

Posted March 8, 2023
Posted by: Conservation

Pottawattamie County, Iowa – Pottawattamie County Conservation is announcing the next phase of Railroad Highway Trail. Seen as a vital key to add more recreation to the area and eventually connect multiple cities, the pathway is among the top priorities for Pottawattamie County.

The next phase of Railroad Highway Trail will be under construction beginning in late March, working from Hanie Avenue to the trail bridge near Weston. This segment will connect two pedestrian bridges along Railroad Highway and offer a continuous trail from Smith Wildlife Area to Weston.

“Trail phases in planning and design that are underway will be from the Council Bluffs city limits to Smith Wildlife Area and Weston to Underwood,” said Mark Shoemaker, Executive Director for Pottawattamie County Conservation. “Eventually, this trail will connect multiple cities across our county, opening several unique opportunities. We’re excited to move forward with the latest phase.”

Snyder & Associates, a full-service civil and structural engineering firm, bid the project last month and assisted in completing the design for the latest phase of the project. Bluffs Paving & Utility Company will be the general contractor, with a proposed completion date of the phase in May.

“When we talk about expanding offerings to our residents and attracting people to our area, projects like this are an important piece to making that happen,” said Brian Shea, Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors Chairman. “This will be a great way to promote outdoor activities in the county and present a wonderful opportunity for economic possibilities for our small towns.”

Funding for Railroad Highway Trail has come from diverse sources, including Iowa West Foundation, Iowa Department of Transportation recreational trail grant funds, Wellmark Foundation, Pottawattamie County Trails Association, Pottawattamie County, and Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation.

“This is an expansive project, that will have taken over a decade from conceptualization to completion,” said Shoemaker. “We’ve experienced many challenges along the way, but the benefits of improving quality of life, encouraging economic growth, and attracting families to live in our communities, will benefit our area for years to come.”

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