Paved trail planned Newsletter Local News 55 years and counting … Leadership Fort Dodge program kicks off Fareway to pull ads from print media Pendleton files notice of appeal Shannon ready for new role at MNW Officers caught ‘doing the right thing’ Added

Paved trail plannedPaved trail planned Newsletter Local News 55 years and counting … Leadership Fort Dodge program kicks off Fareway to pull ads from print media Pendleton files notice of appeal Shannon ready for new role at MNW Officers caught ‘doing the right thing’ Added

Project will improve accessibility at Kennedy Park

Local News

Aug 31, 2021

Michaela Frerichs

mfrerichs@messengernews.net

-Messenger photo by Michaela FrerichsScott Pederson, of Nels Pederson Co., of Badger, works on enforcing the banks at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park where a new bridge will soon be installed. The banks and old bridge had been washed out with rising waters several times in the past.

-Messenger photo by Michaela FrerichsScott Pederson, of Nels Pederson Co., of Badger, works on enforcing the banks at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park where a new bridge will soon be installed. The banks and old bridge had been washed out with rising waters several times in the past.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park’s trail around Badger Lake will be getting some improvements in the next year. Webster County Conservation is gearing up for a big project it hopes will start in the next few months. The project will pave the trail around Badger Lake and change the path slightly, making it smoother and more accessible.

While there has been a granular trail around the lake, a paved trail has been in the works for quite some time.

Matt Cosgrove, director of the Webster County Conservation, said

“Planning for this trail around the lake started actually back in the late ’90s when there was a plan put together to create a hard surface trail around the lake.”

Cosgrove said it can be hard to fund projects such as small loop trails when it comes to grants.

” In 2018, the county and city put together a trail master plan,” Cosgrove said.’That included trails and enhancements throughout the county and expansion. One of the projects on the county side that rated relatively high was paving the trail around the lake since now there’s a paved trail coming all the way out to Kennedy Park from town.”

Webster County and the City of Fort Dodge filed a joint grant application and were awarded $700,000 from the Transportation Alternatives Program; $350,000 was awarded to the county and $350,000 to the city. Cosgrove said that is federal money passed down to the state and the application is through the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The designs were started and the county is working with an engineering company called Snyder and Associates from Ankeny.Paved trail planned Newsletter Local News 55 years and counting … Leadership Fort Dodge program kicks off Fareway to pull ads from print media Pendleton files notice of appeal Shannon ready for new role at MNW Officers caught ‘doing the right thing’ Added

“When we got into the design, we realized that there was going to be a lot of grading just because of all the hills and valleys and ravines, the topography around the lake was going to provide some significant challenges and expense to the project,” Cosgrove said.”So we knew that originally, the money we had put together wasn’t gonna be enough.”

The county knew it would need more funds for this project so it struck a deal with the City of Fort Dodge.

“We approached the city about potentially using their $350,000,” Cosgrove said.”Their project was basically to connect the Soldier Creek Nature Trail to the hard surface trail coming out to Harlan Rogers and Kennedy Park. So the city and the county put together an agreement that basically said that if the city gave their money to the county, their $350,000 for this project, then the county would do their project. So we’ve got an agreement with them here over the next few years to do that project and try to connect those two dots.”

The lake trail project is set to go to bid on Oct. 19 of this year. This bidding will be a DOT letting, meaning the Iowa Department of Transportation will handle the bids.

Cosgrove said,

“Hopefully, we’ll get decent bids that come in and we’ll be able to get the project awarded this fall, and then depending on the contractor schedule, hopefully they’ll get here and start doing some grading and there’s going to be some tree removal and brush removal.”

The paved trail will not entirely replace the existing granular trail or the rock trail.

Cosgrove said,

“We’re going to try to keep as much of the rock trail as we can for hikers, mountain biking and that sort of thing. Then provide the hard surface trail for people that want to bike or people with mobility issues. So we will be able to provide an option for hopefully everyone.”

The paved trail will not be on the south side of Badger Lake, but visitors can use the existing road or the granular trail.

The paved trail will be handicap accessible.

“Since it’s through the DOT, it does have to meet certain ADA requirements and guidelines,” Cosgrove said.”So every place that it can, it’ll be graded within those limits.”

He said the paved trail will vary slightly from the existing trail.

“It starts in the campground and then wraps its way around down across the dam underneath the Veterans Park across the new bridge that we put in, ” he said.”Then it’s going to follow a new alignment down along the lake, wrapping up the hillside and then run just parallel to the lake. Then it will come and tie into the existing trail system that goes into Fort Dodge or it can come up to the front parking lot.”

Cosgrove said they hope for the trail to be ready by late spring or early summer of 2022.Paved trail planned Newsletter Local News 55 years and counting … Leadership Fort Dodge program kicks off Fareway to pull ads from print media Pendleton files notice of appeal Shannon ready for new role at MNW Officers caught ‘doing the right thing’ Added

The park already sees a decent number of users on the trails daily and Cosgrove said they hope to see even more after the project is completed

. He said,

“After about a month and a half of counting, the average daily use coming in from Fort Dodge on the hard surface trail is 99 people per day and the trail going around the lake is 61 people per day. So it’ll be interesting to see how those numbers change as this develops.”

Currently at Kennedy Park, the Conservation Board is working on replacing a bridge.

“We’re in the process of replacing a trail bridge to get it ready for the paving,” Cosgrove said.”So that bridge is getting widened to 10 feet and then it’ll get brought up a foot because of these high rainfall events that we’ve been having. There’s been times where the water has been hitting that bridge, and it actually got washed off years ago, and then was reset.”

Two other bridges were replaced in recent years so all the bridges would have a wider alignment to match the new trail

“The bridge project is by the Conservation Board,” Cosgrove said.”We have a trust fund where 50 cents of every dollar that we generate goes into this fund, and then the Conservation Board can decide projects that they’re going to fund with that money. So this is about a $50,000 project and that’s being funded by the Conservation Trust Fund.”

Cosgrove said they expect to have the new bridge installed within the next two weeks.

This trail project is part of a planned package of outdoor recreation and quality of life projects proposed by Fort Dodge and Webster County leaders.

The projects include:

• Building handicapped accessible fishing jetties on both sides of the Des Moines River where the little dam once stood.

• Creation of a riverfront park on vacant land at the west end of Central Avenue.

• Rebuilding a section of First Street next to the park.

• Creating a Nature Center in Fort Dodge.

• Connecting the Fort Dodge Nature trail to Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex.Paved trail planned Newsletter Local News 55 years and counting … Leadership Fort Dodge program kicks off Fareway to pull ads from print media Pendleton files notice of appeal Shannon ready for new role at MNW Officers caught ‘doing the right thing’ Added

• Building a trail connecting Fort Dodge to Badger.

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