Government

Next phase of Mount Trashmore enhancements ahead

An overlook with a view of downtown Cedar Rapids and the Cedar River is accessible by newly created walking and biking trails at the Mount Trashmore Trails and Overlook in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 30, 2018. A grand opening ceremony will be held for the former land fill at 1pm on Thursday, September 6th. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
An overlook with a view of downtown Cedar Rapids and the Cedar River is accessible by newly created walking and biking trails at the Mount Trashmore Trails and Overlook in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 30, 2018. A grand opening ceremony will be held for the former land fill at 1pm on Thursday, September 6th. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Officials have their sights set on the next phase of improvements to Mount Trashmore, which was recently converted into a recreational destination with biking and hiking trails and an overlook pavilion atop the old landfill.

The Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency on Tuesday approved the release of a request for proposal for improvements valued at $1.5 million. The project would include updates to the main gate for pedestrian and bicycle access, and road improvements to separate traffic for trail users and compost customers. There also are plans to build a recreational facility that would serve as a check-in point for trail and pavilion users with restrooms, office and meeting space, and a storage area, said Joe Horaney, a spokesman for the agency.

The timeline calls for a contract to be awarded Jan. 15 and the designs completed by the end of June, but the request for proposal does not include a deadline to complete the work.

The agency invested $700,000 on the new recreation features.

Mount Trashmore, 2250 A St. SW, now features the Trashmore Trail — a “flow” trail for biking — the Stumptown Trail for hiking and the Overlook Trail for bikes and walkers. The pavilion includes benches, a partially shaded pergola, a terraced grassy seating area and a panoramic view of downtown Cedar Rapids. The trails and overlook are closed for the season.

Since opening in September, 1,150 people have used the trails and overlook, Horaney said, despite closures for bad weather and to repair trails and remove graffiti from the new pavilion.

The first phase of improvements at Mount Trashmore focused on the attraction; the next phase will focus on how it is used.

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The contractor selected would be expected to identify locations for parking lots, the recreational building and signs to guide people around the site.

For cyclists and pedestrians, the project would provide a gated access separate from vehicles and tie into to existing and planned recreational trails outside the Mount Trashmore site. The Cedar River Trail passes by the site, and a community effort is fueling plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge called Smokestack Bridge, which would span the Cedar River from near the Alliant Energy substation on the east side to the foot of Mount Trashmore on the westside. That area is currently gated off.

Mount Trashmore is a regulated site, so when it is open people must check in to access the trails and overlook.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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