Plywood Trail Gets Approval For Construction Of Phase 1-A
(Le Mars) — During its Tuesday meeting, the Le Mars city council approved the contract bid of $1.53 million dollars for the start of construction on the Plywood Trail Phase 1-A, which will begin at Merrill and head towards Le Mars. Ultimately, the Plywood Trail when completed will provide a recreational trail that will stretch from Le Mars to Sioux City and connect Merrill and Hinton. Brett Langley is the project manager with McClure Engineering firm based in Sioux City and assigned the task to oversee the supervision of the proposed Plywood Recreational Trail. Langley talks about the portion of the trail that will begin construction.
Many people are still wondering where specifically will the Plywood Trail be located? Langley says most of the trail will run parallel to Highway 75 on the west side of the highway.
Langley says the trail will be built on the Iowa D-O-T’s Right-of-way. He says the trail will be approximately 30 feet away from the shoulder of the highway.
The intersection of County Road C-38 and Highway 75, commonly referred to as NIPCO corner has proven at times to be a dangerous intersection with a few auto accidents and even fatalities occurring at the intersection. Langley admits it may be a tight squeeze in terms of space for bicycles at that intersection.
The McClure Engineering Company official says the first portion of the trail will cost approximately $1.53 million dollars. He offers an estimate to the total projected cost of the Plywood Trail project from Le Mars to Sioux City.
Langley says the project hopes to be financed through private donations, along with state and federal grants.
Since the trail will be part of the highway’s right-of-way, Langley says landowner approval is not necessarily needed.
Langley says construction is to be started no later than April 15th of 2022. However, he says it could be started earlier. Godberson-Smith Company of Ida Grove was awarded the contract. The completion of Phase 1-A is to be done within 60 days after the construction project begins.
State’s Mobile Museum On The Road Again
(Des Moines) — As the Calhoun County town of Pomeroy celebrates its sesquicentennial this weekend, one of the featured attractions will be a custom-Iowa-built R-V that’s the state’s mobile history museum. The State Historical Society of Iowa vehicle was parked by the pandemic the past 16 months. Michael Morain, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, says it’s time to get it back on the road again.
The mobile museum debuted in 2017 and over the course of three years made 175 stops in all 99 counties, attracting some 65-thousand visitors, including more than 11-thousand students. The R-V is now starting its second three-year statewide tour with a completely different exhibition inside.
The state’s massive underground vault contains some 209-million items relating to Iowa history, so he says it’s an exceptional challenge to narrow it down to a few dozen items for the mobile museum. The latest array is widely varied.
Other items on display include a birchbark lunchbox a Cerro Gordo County boy used in the 1870s, a Meskwaki cradleboard from the late 1800s, and a University of Iowa pennant from Edward Carter of Monroe County, the first African American to get a medical degree from the University of Iowa, in 1907. In addition to this weekend’s festivities in Pomeroy, the mobile museum will be making stops in: Columbus Junction on July 27-31 for the Louisa County Fair, Britt on August 6-8 for Hobo Days, Wilton on August 20-22 for Founders Day, Shenandoah on September 25th for Shenfest, and Lamoni on October 3rd for the Annual Fall Festival.
Naig Responds To Executive Order On Antitrust Enforcement
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued a statement on Friday following the announcement that the federal government will begin taking steps to encourage more competition in several sectors of the national economy, including agriculture. Naig’s statement says one of his top priorities is ensuring that Iowa farmers have strong and accessible markets for the commodities that they produce. The announcement says President Biden is issuing an executive order directing the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to revive antitrust enforcement and promote competition throughout the U-S economy.
In-person Prison Visits Resume
(Fort Madison, IA) — Department of Corrections director, Beth Skinner says they will resume in-person visits at the state’s prisons Saturday. Online visits have been the only option for some 16 months following the COVID-19 outbreak. Skinner says they are going to start out by allowing just half the normal capacity for visitors and see how that works. Skinner spoke at the Board of Corrections meeting Friday and says they now only have two COVID cases in the system. She also announced that prison staff will no longer have to wear masks.
State Message Boards Change Times
(Ames, IA) — The Iowa Department of Transportation has changed the time it delivers those pithy safety reminders to motorists on the 80-some overhead message boards on Iowa’s interstates and highways. The Monday Messages program is now called Roadside Chats and the new slogans will appear on Fridays instead of Mondays. D-O-T spokeswoman Andrea Henry Friday is the second-highest fatal crash day of the week and it leads into the weekend — and Saturday is our highest day for fatal accidents. She says they want to catch both weekday commuter traffic and those drivers heading out for the weekend.
Fellow Republican Suggests Reynolds Could Be On National Ticket
(Des Moines, IA) — The Republican who competed against Kim Reynolds at the G-O-P’s state convention to be the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010 says Reynolds could wind up on a national ticket in 2024. Bob Vander Plaats — president and C-E-O of The Family Leader — suggests Reynolds will be in the mix as a potential running mate if Donald Trump secures the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination. Vander Plaats says Reynolds has a lot of stock across the country because of how she’s led during the pandemic, the racial unrest, and a lot of other things.