Riverside Trail Development

Coon Rapids was one of 10 communities selected to participate in the 2018 Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program. The program, which selects communities through a competitive application process, provides professional planning and design assistance along transportation corridors to small Iowa communities (populations of fewer than 10,000).The Coon Rapids visioning committee identified a number of goals and priority areas during the visioning process one of which is the Riverside Trail Connection on Velvet Avenue and Stagecoach Road.

The current Riverside Trail ends abruptly on the edge of Coon Rapids at a paved road (Velvet Avenue) that not only has a high volume of traffic, but is notorious for high speed and low visibility due to a large hill. Trail users find this an unsafe option and must turn around on the current trail to return to their starting point. Plans are to extend the trail to create a complete loop.  This can be accomplished by adding a trail parallel to Velvet Avenue, Stagecoach Road and Cardinal Drive to Riverside Park.

A second outcome of the new loop will be a safe passage to school route. One-third of the new trail connection on Stagecoach Road is in an area of Coon Rapids that does not have sidewalks, but that is a major connector for many children to the school. Unfortunately, there is a high volume of traffic and two blind corners on this street.  School children must share this roadway with cars. By extending the Riverside Trail in this portion of the community, the trail will connect to the school/sports complex trail giving users access to the town’s aquatic center, school and sports complex. Transportation is integral to small-town life and a vibrant economy. Walking and biking are quintessential modes of travel to various destinations important to our active residents and visitors. Safe access to these destinations is crucial.

City leaders began working with JEO Consulting Group to design and construct the trail extension in April 2019. Updates on the progress of the project will be forthcoming as they develop.

Q. What is the development plan for the trail?
A. We are currently in the survey stage.  JEO Consulting Group is surveying all the land between the end of Riverside Trail at 320th Street to its starting point at Cardinal Drive. JEO will provide us with options for three possible phases of the project.

  • Phase I: From just west of 6th Avenue to 320th Street, utilizing a corridor along the north side of Stagecoach Road, possibly an on-street facility on Woodland Drive, and the east side of Velvet Avenue.Within this new trail alignment, an anticipated 8-foot wide PCC trail will be constructed.A pedestrian bridge at the Middle Raccoon River crossing will be warranted.Impacts to private property are anticipated with this phase.
  • Phase II: From Cardinal Drive to the connection with Phase I, utilizing a corridor along the north side of Stagecoach Road.Similar to phase I, an 8-foot wide PCC trail will be constructed within this new trail alignment.No impacts to private property are anticipated with this phase.
  • Phase III: The existing Riverside Park Trail, from Cardinal Drive to the existing trail head located along 320th Street (approx. 1.6 miles).No improvements to the existing Middle Raccoon River crossing are anticipated with this project.Anticipated improvement includes reclamation of the existing asphalt trail as a granular base and construction of a new 8-foot PCC trail.Additionally, an encroachment of the Middle Raccoon River, near 320th Street, shall be reviewed for improvement with this phase.

Initial options will be available late summer/early fall of 2019, at which time town hall meetings will be held to discuss the options with the community.  Affected property owners will be contacted to discuss the options presented.

After the community has agreed on the best route for the new trail, JEO can provide design plans and a feasibility report (construction cost estimates).  At this time, the trail committee can begin applying for trail grants to finance the project. This will also be the time to decide if the city will complete all three phases of the project or focus on specific ones. Once financing has been secured, the bidding process can begin for construction.

Q. What is expected from JEO?
A. They will conduct a topographic survey, perform a field review of the site survey and provide the city with design services (proposed trail map that addresses the need for a pedestrian bridge, narrow shoulders next to streets, utility obstructions, un-level terrain, homeowner obstructions, etc.). They will also oversee environmental review and permitting, flood plain permitting, cultural resource investigation, threatened and endangered species survey and geotechnical investigation as well as aid in funding assistance.  They will also provide the city with estimated project costs.

Q. How will the trail be financed?
A. City leaders are using funds from a Great Places Grant to pay for the initial engineering fees. They plan to bundle as many grants as possible to pay for the construction of the trail.  Some local fundraising may be needed, but until the trail committee receives the construction estimates and begins grant writing they can’t say for sure.  It is expected that there will be little to no cost to property tax payers for construction of the trail.  No construction will take place until the funds are available to pay for the work. As progress develops, plans may change but they will be communicated to the public.

Q. Who will maintain the trail?
A. Who will be responsible for trail maintenance has not been confirmed yet.  It will be discussed at future committee meetings and with the community during town hall meetings this fall.

Q. Can property owners remove the flags and stakes that the surveyors placed in their yards?
A. Yes.

Q. Who is on the trail committee?
A. Dave Burmeister, Kevin Dorphinghaus, Sara Roetman, Laura Lake, Mark Winnett, Sami Burmeister and Katie Mason. Carroll County Conservation Director Jason Christenson is also consulting on the project.

Q. Has there been a project timeline developed for the design and planning stage?
A. The following is the estimated time frame for this project.  All calendar days are estimated, subject to acceptance day with City of Coon Rapids. Project bidding to be determined at a later time dependent on securing additional funding.

  • Topographic Survey – Approximately 30 calendar days, Anticipated May 1, 2019
  • Preliminary Design – Approximately 90 calendar days, Anticipated August 1, 2019
  • Final Design – Approximately 60 calendar days, Anticipated October 1, 2019 pending review and approval by regulatory agencies (permit impacts to schedule).
Q. Will the community have an opportunity to see the plans and provide feedback?
A. Yes. Town hall meetings will be held to inform and discuss the plans.
      City of Coon Rapids
      City of Coon Rapids
      123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
      Phone: 712-999-7749
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