By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The last piece of the Mississippi River Trail in the city of Clinton will be completed with a $400,000 grant from the Iowa DOT, allowing residents to travel from Eagle Point Park to Camanche without a car.
The grant will be used to construct the last piece of the Clinton portion of the MRT from the intersection of South Fourth Street and 11th Avenue South to the Riverview recreational trail that begins at Riverview Drive and Sixth Avenue South. The piece is approximately 4,100 feet long.
According to Yvonne Diller, federal and state recreational trails program manager for the Iowa DOT, the grant program is very competitive.
Last year, the organization received 29 applications and more than $12 million in requests, of which they were only able to fund 12.
“This year, we had 40 applications and requests for over $15.5 million,” Diller said.
Of those, nine were funded with slighty more than $3 million being awarded.
The grant program was approved by the Iowa State Legislature and Gov. Terry Branstad to provide $3 million for recreational trail projects that the public can use. The grant stipulates that 25-percent of funding must come from the local agency requesting the grant. Clinton would be responsible for $150,000 of the $550,000 total cost. These funds would likely be secured through general bonding.
“We in the city should be excited. We’re going to get a $550,000 trail for $150,000,” Craft said. “One will literally be able to bike from Eagle Point Park to Camanche.”
The Clinton portion of the trail is a part of the larger MRT, an ongoing effort to construct a walking and biking path for the entire length of the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
“I think one facet that was favorable for this project was this project is the final connection of the MRT in Clinton,” Diller said.
The new portion of the trail would begin at the intersection of South Fourth Street and 11th Avenue South, head north on Third Street, turn east onto Eighth Avenue South under the U.S. 30 bridge, turn North on Second Street, turn east onto the south side of Seventh Avenue South, turn north along First Street and finally turn east along Sixth Avenue South where it will connect with the Riverview Drive portion of the trail.