If things go according to plan, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail will be whole once again. It’s just going to take a little time. Black Hawk County Conservation is moving forward with plans to repair the bridge that sits just north of the gazebo in La Porte City, closed since September 2015 due to structural concerns that were deemed to make it unsafe for use.
The project, estimated to cost around $850,000, will get underway with the letting of bids in November, with construction to follow in the spring of 2020. The reason for the delay is related to when the release of grant money secured for the project becomes available.
Two grants, an Iowa Recreational Trails grant for $360,000 and federal Transportation Alternatives Programming funding in the amount of $386,000 will finance the bulk of the project. Meanwhile, local fundraising efforts remain an important fail-safe, in the event that the actual bids, which are still ten months out, come in higher than expected.
“If it goes too much over the top we may have to just send it all back. That would be pretty crushing at this point,” said Mike Hendrickson, Executive Director of the Black Hawk County Conservation Board.
Local fundraising efforts have been led by the Wolf Creek Trail Bridge Committee and the Cedar Trails Partnership. The groups will sponsor a pork sandwich dinner, which will be held on Tuesday, April 9 from 4 -7 PM at the La Porte City Golf Club. Proceeds from the event are reserved for the bridge project.