Jun 7, 2022 - Business

Des Moines' Neal Smith Trail connection under construction

A photo of the Neal Smith Trail in Des Moines.

The Neal Smith Trial near Euclid Avenue in Des Moines last month. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Construction is underway via a city contract to repave and widen a section of the Neal Smith Trail through northern Des Moines.

Why it matters: Completion this fall means an unbroken connection on the trail between DSM and Saylorville Lake will be restored for the first time in years.

Yes, but: The link could be short lived. Other sections of the 26-mile trail that are managed by the state are in bad shape.

  • A timeline for those fixes is dependent on funding and grant allocations, Tammie Krausman, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources tells Axios.

Catch up fast: The trail was constructed in the early 1980s and was one of the first in the Central Iowa Trail network. It is the most popular trail at Saylorville Lake.

  • Construction projects that include the I-35/80 bridge over the DSM River have rerouted recreationists since 2019.

Driving the news: Des Moines' project, which runs about a mile from Euclid Avenue to the Saylor Creek Bridge, is expected to be completed later this year.

  • DNR sections that go north of the bridge to around Northwest 26th Street and a section within Big Creek State Park are part of a grant request for an upcoming $1 million restoration project, Krausman told us.

The bottom line: Work is in progress but more rerouting is likely.


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