A ribbon-cutting will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the North Dubuque Street Pedestrian / Bike Bridge to mark the completion of a 1.1-mile section of the Iowa River Trail, which includes the 540-ft. pedestrian bridge that traverses I-80. The new concrete trail, which connects Foster Road, the Butler Bridge, and the Waterworks Prairie Park Trail, completes the 12-mile Iowa River Trail and provides a direct route for bike commuters and recreational users from north of I-80 to Downtown Iowa City and the University of Iowa. The new trail section was expected to open for use on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Those attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 17 should meet at 10:45 a.m. at the northwest corner of the Parkview Church parking lot at 15 Foster Road, where people will then proceed to bike or walk the trail to the bridge. Additional parking is available at Terrell Mill Park.

The Iowa River Trail, which extends from Terry Trueblood Recreation Area on the south side of Iowa City, north to Mehaffey Bridge, the MacBride Nature and Recreation Area, and Sugar Bottom Recreation Area between North Liberty and Solon, is now the longest off-street trail in Johnson County. It connects Johnson County, Iowa City, the University of Iowa campus, Coralville, the Coralville Reservoir Recreation Area, and North Liberty. Over the next several years, additional trail extensions and bike facility improvements will allow the Iowa River Trail to link into a 118-mile continuous trail network from Iowa City to Cedar Falls.

Trail user counts from the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County (MPOJC) indicate that the Iowa River Trail is more widely used than any other trail in the area -- an average of 765 people per day during the week, and over 900 per day on weekends. Within Iowa City, the Iowa River Trail passes through five City parks: Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, Napoleon Park, City Park, Terrell Mill Park, and Waterworks Prairie Park. It will eventually also pass through the new Riverfront Crossing Park, which is currently in its planning phase.

Construction of the North Dubuque Street trail section began in April, 2015. The $2 million trail section and overpass were completed with $1,797,000 in Federal Surface Transportation Program Funds (STP), Federal Interstate Maintenance Discretionary Funds (IMD), and State Recreational Trails Funds (SRT).  The remaining amount came from Iowa City General Obligation Bonds. 

For more information, contact Sarah Walz, Assistant Transportation Planner, at 319-356-5239 or e-mail sarah-walz@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Friday, October 09, 2015