Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bannation, forever.
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Report regarding the bridge to connect the trail system in Sioux City & Dakota Dunes
This report is from the Siouxland Trails Foundation President regarding the bridge to connect the Sioux City & Dakota Dunes trail systems. I do not like the compromises made to make this happen. The bridge should directly connect the trail systems together. Now after the bridge is built & crossed people will have to ride down a roadway to a rather busy roadway, cross on an overpass with traffic entering & exiting I-29. The roadways that trail users will have to use intersect at a very busy intersection where the Dunes trail starts. The trail users will have to turn left from a turn lane, cut across oncoming traffic to access the trail instead of staying on the roadway. I think part of the reason for this is because it is so busy the Dunes residents will think it is a deterrant & prevent people from using the trail & crossing over. They could be right, time will tell.
"As reported in the media, the Dunes CID board voted to include $50,000 from the CID in its 2007 budget for use for the trail bridge between Sioux City and South Dakota. There were a number of conditions in the motion which was made by Dennis Melstad. Those conditions are spelled out in the 9-19-06 Sioux City Journal. Contrary to the Journal article, the vote was 4 - 1 and not unanimous. Ross Jordan voted against the motion to include $50,000 for the bridge in the budget. The motion authorizes Jeff Dooley to negotiate the detailed terms within the confines of the motion with Sioux City. As you no doubt know, there has been some resistance to the bridge among some Dunes residents and, as a compromise to address resident concerns, the bridge is presently planned to not connect directly to the new public trail in the Dunes. While this is far from ideal, the important thing is to get the bridge built, even though access will be via the blacktop road that serves as an access to the Two Rivers Country Club. At the Dunes public comment meeting last week, many residents argued for a direct trail connection to the bridge. Perhaps that is an issue that will be re-visited by the CID Board in the future if initiated by enough Dunes residents after the bridge is built. For now that is NOT part of the plan. In my personal opinion, based on my observations and conversations with some of the CID board members, getting the bridge built without a direct trail connection is the best outcome that was politically possible now.
From STF's perspective, the issue is that we need to get moving on the fund-raising. Based on the budget of $500,000 for the bridge with Sioux City and Iowa committed for one-half and the Dunes CID coming up with $50,000, that means $200,000 will need to be raised privately. Our Foundation has $25,000 of that amount committed from Foundation funds based on a poll of our Board of Directors. We already have received additional private pledges for almost $25,000 ranging from $25.00 to $10,000 per pledge. STF will need to take the lead in putting together the fund raising effort and we would like additional volunteers.
The commitments to date are the result of initial contacts made by Joe Kruse, Steve Gengler, Regina Roth and me. We have a lot of work ahead of us - if any of you personally want to make a pledge or volunteer to help raise money, please contact Bob DeSmidt. As with any fund raising project early commitments really help 'prime the pump' for a successful campaign. Pledges will need to be paid by February 2007 in order to have the private money on hand when the project goes out to bid. Yes, if no unexpected major glitches occur, we could see the bridge built in 2007.
We look forward to working with Terry Hoffman and Jeff Dooley in moving this project forward and making it a reality."