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Crews build bridge on Wapsi Great Western Trail in Iowa

In October, Conservation Corps young adult crews from Iowa and Minnesota completed a boardwalk bridge in McIntire, Iowa that connects two sections of the Wapsi Great Western Trail. The 800-foot elevated boardwalk traverses a floodplain leading to a steel truss bridge that spans the Wapsipinicon River. Three crews worked with the Mitchell County Conservation Board on the month-long effort, which included a break for construction of the steel truss section. Hear Conservation Board Director Milt Owen describe the county’s connection to the project and the crew’s contribution. The project required a much larger scale design than originally planned, retrofitting reclaimed telephone poles and leveling the expanse across hundreds of feet.

The Wapsi Great Western Trail follows the Wapsipinicon River Corridor and the abandoned railbed of the Chicago Great Western Railroad. From the trailhead in Riceville, Iowa the 18-mile trail extends north along hilltops and rolling landscapes that include native prairie and forested areas. The trail includes a butterfly garden built into a hillside and a 320-acre upland timber called Pinicon Alders. Future plans include connecting the trail with the Shooting Star Trail in Minn.