116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
An integral part of the CeMar Trail project in Marion is now complete.
Marion city officials on Monday opened a brand-new pedestrian bridge over Indian Creek that sits between Thomas and Donnelly parks.
Now the bridge, as well as the section of trail that had been closed, are open for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
The new bridge, formerly a railroad bridge, includes the railroad’s girders in the design.
“This is a significant step forward in the progress of trail connectivity in Marion while keeping a piece of our railroad history in play,” Associate Planner and Trails Coordinator Kesha Billings said.
Other elements of the bridge’s design pay tribute to the former Milwaukee Railroad bridge. Parts of the bridge’s rail design look like train wheels, and a sign that reads “The Milwaukee Road” arches over the pathway.
“The new trail bridge exemplifies Marion’s forward momentum while honoring its proud history,” Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Our collaboration on the CeMar Trail is one example of how Marion is doing its part to make the region attractive for people and the businesses we need to power our economy.”
The bridge also will connect the Grant Wood Trail, which runs east past Springville and into Martelle.
The CeMar Trail project — a decades-old plan to build a trail system connecting downtown Cedar Rapids and Uptown Marion — got underway last July when construction closed the trail between Thomas and Donnelly parks.
The Marion portion of the trail project has five phases renovating and paving existing trails as well as adding new ones.
Once completed, the trail will be seven miles long, with about four of those miles in Marion. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2022 or 2023.
The trail, running from the trailhead on Grand Ave through Thomas Park, is now paved and another pedestrian bridge over Marion Blvd is set to begin construction in August.
The Marion portion of the CeMar Trail project is expected to cost $6.7 million, with 80 percent coming from federal funding.
The portion of the project that includes the new bridge and the paving of the trail down to and around Marion Blvd costs $1.8 million with $1.1 million coming from federal funding.
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