House File 822 appropriated $3.5 million for acquiring, constructing and improving recreational trails within the state. Trails monies may also be used for purposes of building equestrian or snowmobile trails that run parallel to a recreational trail.
Of the amount appropriated, $750,000 was allocated for the Principal Riverwalk in Des Moines and $500,000 for the trail system and bridge in the Pinicon Ridge Park in Linn County. The trail system will connect Pinicon Ridge Park and Central City, and the bridge will connect the picnic and campground sides of the park. That leaves $2.25 million for other trails projects.
State Recreational Trails program
A state or local governmental agency, municipal corporation, county or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply for and receive funds from the recreational trails program.
The recreational trails program is restricted to the acquisition, construction or improvement of trails open for public use or trails which will be dedicated to public use upon completion.
- The project must be part of a local, area-wide, regional or statewide plan.
- The trail route shall be designed to allow enjoyment of scenic views or points of historical interest and to maximize safety. The route may use existing roads, streets or parkways, if the normal flow of motor vehicle traffic will not be hindered, abandoned railroad corridors, utility corridors, or new right-of-way as necessary.
- The project shall include a contribution of at least 25 percent matching funds. Notwithstanding, at the discretion of the department, funds may be granted up to a maximum of 80 percent.
- Land acquisition costs including, but not limited to, appraisal costs, negotiation costs and the required cultural resources survey pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 263B are eligible project costs. Land may be acquired by lease, easement or fee simple. Except for primary road projects, the performance of land negotiation and acquisition activities shall not be the responsibility of the department although the department may provide advisory services.
- Trail surfacing, resurfacing, rehabilitation, modernization, upgrading and reconstruction, including pavement repairs and overlays and shoulder widening and stabilization; or initial trail construction including grading, drainage, paving and erosion control.
- Bridge and culvert repair, modernization, replacement or initial construction.
- Roadway intersection and interchange improvements, including warranted traffic signalization that is an integral part of the project.
- Construction or improvement of rest areas, information centers, waysides, permanent interpretive displays, lighting and rest rooms, including the costs of utility connections that are an integral part of the project.
- Design engineering and construction inspection costs directly associated with the project.
- Storm drainage and storm sewer costs to the extent needed for draining the trail.
- Utility relocation costs necessary for trail construction or improvement if the utility is not located on public right of way.
- Trail signs, fencing, landscaping, parking areas, and walkways.
The application deadline for this program July 1.
- Need, in terms of the population to be served and existing trails in the area (25 points).
- Compatibility with local, area-wide, regional or statewide plans (15 points).
- Benefits of multiple uses and recreational opportunities (20 points).
- Quality of the site (25 points).
- Economic benefits to the local area (10 points).
- Special facilities for the disabled (5 points).
For further information about this program contact:
Office of Systems Planning
Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
ATTN: Craig Markley