Plans for the expansion have been in process for over 10 years, according to Randy Hill, Project Team Lead. Hill estimates that the proposed trail plan was changed over 30 times before settling on the chosen route.
Construction on the trail was set to begin on Monday, June 12 by Illowa, based in Blue Grass. The project is scheduled to take 80 work days. With weather considerations included, the project is anticipated to be complete in October.
The majority of the project is being funded through a combination of federal and state grants as well as private donations.
The trail is planned to be 10 feet wide, with two feet of clearance on either side. The new section of the trail will measure 4.5 miles. In addition, a one-mile trail will be added around the transfer station that will incorporate the pollinator park being established in the area.
The trail section is planned to be fairly level, reaching a 4-5% grade in certain areas before reaching Deep Lakes Park.
Residents in attendance expressed the need for clear signage at the intersections of the trail and Sampson Street, Dick Drake Way, and 41st Street, where cyclists and pedestrians would need to cross the roadway.
The trail will instead include signage providing needed information, including along the property lines marking private property.
The Muscatine trail is scheduled to end near Deep Lakes Park, though riders who wish to continue to the Louisa County Trail that is in progress will be able to do so by riding along the road from 57th Street to Pettibone to Wiggens to Ogilvie.