- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

AVOCA, Iowa (AP) - Residents have celebrated the opening of a pedestrian bridge over the West Nishnabotna River that’s part of an effort to install more trails throughout the town of Avoca.

A dedication ceremony was held Friday for the bridge which opened in March, The Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/1LeS3Og ) reported. The event featured a luau theme, replete with leis, Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and tropical tunes.

“It was truly one of those projects that had been talked about forever,” City Manager Clint Fichter said. “I love projects that have that sense of achievement at the end. It’s part of continuing to get our town focused on improving in the ways we want to.”

Before the crossing was built, residents would have to walk along a highway shoulder or take other less-than-ideal routes to get to the Edgington Memorial Park, which sits east of the river. Avoca librarian Serena Riesgaard remembers her brothers having to wade across the river to get to the park.

The span is part of a citywide trails project that has seen the installation of five miles of trail over the past five years. Fichter said there are two more trail sections that are under development.



The bridge cost about $340,000, with $171,492 of the project covered by a state transportation grant, according to Fichter. The remainder was funded with local option sales tax dollars.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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