• Mon November 01 2021
  • Posted Nov 1, 2021
Polk County Conservation was approached by the City of West Des Moines with plans to realign SE County Line Rd.

The plans provide a tunnel for the Great Western Trail under the proposed new SE County Line Rd. alignment. The trail will remain on the same alignment. However, some trees will need to be removed during construction of the new tunnel. The existing trees that line both sides of the trail are trees with low ecological value; most are volunteer trees of box elder, mulberry and siberian elms.

However, these trees are appreciated by trail users for the shade they provide, the buffering from the sounds from the nearby street, buffering from the westerly winds often encountered on this trail, and these tree offer a sense of peacefulness within nature that trail users expect on trails.

It will be Polk County Conservation’s priority to reestablish a tree lined trail as quick as nature allows. West Des Moines has agreed to pay Polk County Conservation to reestablish the tree canopy along the section of trail they are impacting. A robust planting plan was prepared by staff that focuses on planting native, fast-growing canopy trees, evergreen trees, and dense shrubs strategically placed to help buffer the trail.

It will take time for these trees to grow, and the best efforts have been made to reestablish the tree canopy the best way possible.

Location: the trees that will be removed will be in Warren County

Detour: there will be a temporary asphalt trail paved around the construction.

Timeline: Tree removals will be occurring over the next several weeks. The new tunnel is anticipated to complete in the Fall 2022.

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