Motor Mill Trail receives donations

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The Motor Mill Trail project recently netted donations from several local entities, including $2,000 from Alpine Communications.

The Motor Mill Trail project recently netted donations from several local entities, including $5,000 from FreedomBank.

Project construction slated to begin yet this summer

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The Motor Mill Trail project recently netted donations from several local entities, including $5,000 from FreedomBank and $2,000 from both Alpine Communications and the Slagel Family Fund.

The funding boost comes as CJ Moyna & Sons, Inc., is slated to begin construction on the trail in August. That work will be completed for $851,952, which, paired with engineering, will bring the total project cost to just over $1 million.

Subcontractors include Streicher Excavating, Tara Erosion Control LLC, Iowa Plains Signing, Inc., 4J Fence Company and Manatt’s Inc. 

The trail project was originally awarded grant funds nearly a decade ago through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and State Recreation Trails (SRT), but the idea dates back much farther.

“Thirty years ago the vision started, and then these federal and state funds have been sitting there since 2011,” said Jenna Pollock, who wanted to reinvigorate the project when she took over as executive director of Clayton County Conservation.

The Motor Mill Trail will start at Turkey River Park, then head south along Iowa Highway 13 for two miles as six-foot-wide bike lane shoulders on the north- and west-bound lanes. The bike lane shoulder work will be an asphalt overlay and extension installed by River City Paving. According to Pollock, the DOT approached the conservation board with this partnership opportunity to bring the trail out of Elkader.

From Iowa Highway 13, the trail will travel southeast for 1.4 miles along Grandview Road, then .7 miles southeast along Grandview Loop, .4 miles southeast on Grandview Road and .9 miles east overland toward the Motor Mill Historic District accessible on Galaxy Road. Pollock said this Grandview Road and overland trail will be constructed as a 10-foot-wide granular trail, with the majority of the trail separated from the road and set into the backslope of the county road right-of-way. 

The Motor Mill Trail project will connect existing green spaces like Founders Park, Turkey River Park, Elkader City Park, Pony Hollow Trail, Motor Mill Historic Site, Retz Woods and the state designated Turkey River Water Trail.

“It highlights the scenic byway and Turkey River Recreational Corridor,” Pollock noted.

These connections are important as recreational tourism continues to grow.

“The amenities provide business opportunities and economic development,” said Pollock, “plus health and wellness benefits.”

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