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  • Sat August 30 2008
  • Posted Aug 30, 2008
By Carlleen Bell
NT Staff Writer

AUDUBON COUNTY – After nearly 15 years of planning and building, Audubon County is about to see the completion of 16 consecutive miles of paved trail through the county. By mid to late October, the final three mile section of the T-Bone biking and walking trail should be completed and open for use.

According to Audubon County Conservation Director Bruce Haag, the county should be finished preparing for contractors to come in by the end of this week. The conservation agency is responsible for clearing trees and cleaning up the trail area for contractors to prepare the area to pour cement. Haag said that contractors are expected to start pouring the final three miles of cement by mid-September, and a few weeks after the cement is poured, bridges along the path can be finished.

The three-mile section of the trail goes north from Exira and will connect with another portion of the trail that is already completed. Haag expects the trail to be ready for public use by late October. The cement and pavement path will be available for biking, rollerblading, walking, and jogging.

“Once this trail gets more well known, we’ll be seeing people from places like Des Moines and Council Bluffs who want to get away from their own city for recreation,” Haag said.

The T-Bone trail project began in 1994 when a section of train tracks from Audubon to Atlantic was abandoned. A federal law called the Rails to Trails Act made it possible for groups to convert abandoned railways to recreational trails.

Nishna Valley Trails formed in 1991 as a non-profit organization to promote recreational trail development. They went through the process to get a permit to establish a rail trail, and in 1996 acquired the title to the land from Audubon to a place northeast of Atlantic.

Once completed, the approximately 21-mile recreational trail, which starts in Audubon, will become part of the American Discovery Trail, a national network of trails and country roads running about 6,300 miles from Delaware to California.

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