First Avenue Trail Opens in Council Bluffs with Phase 2 to Begin This Spring | Lifestyles
Eight months after its inauguration, the first phase of the First Avenue Trail is complete.
Brandon Garrett, Director of Community Development, said FIRST AVE is an acronym for “Furthering Interconnections, Revitalization, Streetscapes, Transportation and Aesthetics for a Vibrant Economy”.
“The First Avenue Multipurpose Trail Project is a major part of this ‘FIRST AVE’ vision,” he said. “The trail was first adopted as a component of the 2015 West Broadway Corridor Plan and we are now implementing this piece. “
The first phase of construction included the 25th to 35th Street section of the trail. When complete, the trail will run from 16th to 35th Street for approximately 1.8 miles, and will connect to other trails in Council Bluffs.
The trail will cover the ground where the tracks that were part of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad used to be – the tracks were removed in 2013.
Along the trail there are places placed every three to four blocks.
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“The plazas include a variety of things such as signage, orientation, benches, pedestals for future sculptural art, shade structures, landscaping, fall foliage trees, water fountains. water, trash cans, bicycle parking and a future Heartland Bike Share station on Place 25th Street, ”said Garrett. “The multi-use trail is 14 feet wide with 10 feet of smooth, continuous asphalt in the middle and 2 feet of concrete shoulders for the safety of slower people.”
Benny Foltz, Executive Director of Heartland Bike Share, helped raise funds and secure the bike share location on 25th Street plaza, just behind Hy-Vee Gas, 21 S 25th St. This station Bike sharing will be equipped with 10 bikes, and the station will be in the middle of the other two bike share locations in Council Bluffs.
“This First Avenue trail is going to be amazing because it’s going to connect the two places,” Foltz said. “So if you don’t have a bike you can now safely and comfortably ride the First Ave Trail in downtown Council Bluffs by the river.”
To use a bike from one of the stations, users will need to download the BCycle app or use the kiosk at the stations to purchase, or use a subscription. You can find more information about bike sharing at heartland.bcycle.com.
The trail is of course not just for cyclists. Garrett said the trail is designed to be used by multiple users: walkers, joggers, pets, wheelchairs, cyclists, scooters, strollers, large wheels, skateboards, roller skates and more.
“This trail opens the door to safer access to the trails,” Foltz said. “We need safe routes to ride on and this will be one of the safest routes in town now.”
The entire trail is also lighted so the trail can be used safely at all times and in all weather conditions.
“It’s a treat to be able to ride at night and light it up,” Foltz said. “You are still in town, but on a track. “
The portion of the trail past Thomas Jefferson High School features black wire fencing, additional landscaping, gates, ADA ramps, and seating walls.
“This investment in transportation and quality of life is the best example of mobility infrastructure in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro,” said Garrett. “Additionally, this trail will be part of the Great American Rail Trail that will stretch from Washington, DC to Washington State.”
Construction on phase two will begin in the spring and will run from 16th Street to 25th Street, Garrett said. In total the trail will be just under two miles long.
“I encourage everyone to go out and ride the First Avenue trail,” Foltz said.
For more information, visit firstavecb.com or listen to the “On FIRST” podcast at onfirstcb.com.