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  • Wed December 27 2006
  • Posted Dec 27, 2006
By Mary Louise Speer LeCLAIRE, Iowa — LeClaire residents want more recreational opportunities and their top priority is a bike path, according to a recreational survey compiled a few years ago. On Monday night, city officials talked about a bike trail study as the first step toward fulfilling those wishes. A proposed trail would span the city from Pigeon Creek in Bettendorf to the LeClaire-Princeton border. City officials plan to meet Wednesday with representatives from Scott County and the City of Princeton to discuss the regional recreation trail. Bettendorf and Davenport have a riverfront trail that extends 6.6 miles from the Interstate 74 bridge in Bettendorf west to Credit Island in Davenport. “I feel this is an excellent opportunity for the city, recreationally wise and safety wise,” council member Mike Wolfe said. “It just makes sense for what we’re trying to do in the downtown.” The city has explored the possibility of a recreational trail for the past 10 years, City Administrator Edwin Choate said. The subject got kick-started again last spring. An informal feasibility study will determine the best route through LeClaire before a more detailed engineering study is conducted, Choate said. Possible options are to construct a trail that runs along a portion of U.S. 67 or the old highway on Canal Shore Drive. In the late 1990s, the LeClaire Levee Commission studied the idea of a recreation trail along the downtown levee. Those plans could become part of the route selected, he said. He estimates the trail will span 15-17 miles. River Action Inc. has offered to split the costs of an engineering study with the city and to help find grants, Wolfe said. “This engineering study is the first step in moving forward with the process,” he said. “I’m definitely in favor of this,” council member Mary Farmer said. A walking and bicycling trail would be another amenity for bringing tourists to the city, she said. Before a path is constructed, city officials will need to make sure to make sure they have all of the easements needed for a path, council member Debra Smith cautioned. Council member Lane Bleeker wants to see the city pursue grants that could help with the engineering study and future developments. The group will need to have an alignment study completed before beginning easement negotiations with property owners, Choate said. The Iowa Chicago and Eastern Railroad and Iowa Department of Transportation also will be involved in determining the exact route along the Mississippi River. The city desk can be contacted at (563) 383-2245 or newsroom@qctimes.com. Trail expansion The City of Bettendorf hopes to begin construction on the next phase of its riverfront trail in the next year or two. Parks Director Steve Grimes said the estimated cost is $2 million, including land acquisition, engineering and construction. The new portion will extend the path about 1.5 miles from the Interstate 74 bridge to Duck Creek at the Bettendorf-Riverdale border.

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