SIOUX CITY | A 16-mile recreational trail planned from Le Mars to Sioux City will travel along Highway 75, according to a proposed route announced this week.
Members of the committee organizing the PlyWood Trail project and a consultant with McClure Engineering Co. shared their decision for the route during meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Le Mars and Hinton.
The route, known as the Central Route, was one of three choices shared with the public in October. The route begins in Le Mars and passes through Merrill and Hinton on its way to Sioux City.
It is the shortest of the three choices and also would have the least impact on landowners, as most of the property needed could be obtained in rights-of-way from the cities and Iowa Department of Transportation.
"Really what it came down to is ... the other two both required property acquisition for either purchasing or getting easements to get onto private priperty," said McClure Transportation Team Leader Jeff Schug. "Trails do not have the right to condemn ground."
Schug said the estimated cost for the project is $11.6 million. Trail organizers have said the funding will come from fundraising donations and state and federal trail grants.
Schug said the next step will now be obtaining a permit from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Other trail routes considered were the River Route, which would run along the Floyd River, and the West Route, which would not run along Highway 75 in the middle miles but rather veer a few miles west, south and then back east along country roads from Merrill to Hinton.
The PlyWood Trail Committee will provide the Sioux City Council with an update on the project during Monday's meeting. The meeting will be 4 p.m. Monday on the fifth floor of City Hall, 405 Sixth St.