- Associated Press - Sunday, September 17, 2017

WOODWARD, Iowa (AP) - A trail bridge in central Iowa will go dark 90 minutes earlier in hopes of curbing loud noises and vandalism, a move welcomed by neighbors but that some cyclists say is disappointing.

KCCI-TV reports that the Boone County Conservation Board decided to start turning off the lights on the High Trestle Trail near Woodward at 10:30 p.m. starting Sept. 25. The lights have previously been on until midnight.

The 25-mile trail runs between Ankeny and Woodward and features blue LED lights that illuminate the trail.

Some residents who live near the trail say the noise level has gotten out of control.

“You hear, ‘Hey!’ and they’re like, screaming as loud as they can so they can hear themselves,” resident Wesley Mathes said. “Everybody around here kind of freaks out like, ‘Oh my God, something is happening?’”

Tanner Scheuermann, the conservation board’s director, said officials aren’t sure if the change will be able to solve the problem.

“The biggest issue is the residents who live along the trail,” Scheuermann said. “We want them to feel safe and we care about their quality of life.”

Others residents say the change is punishing people who don’t break the rules.

“It’s cooler riding at night,” cyclist Jorge Zamore said. “The scenery, seeing the bridge light up, it’s a pretty nice effect, going through the tunnel effect. I know a lot of people come from out of town just to see them.”

The conservation board plans to hold a public hearing to get feedback in the next few weeks.

The change will be in effect until Nov. 1, when the lights will resume normal winter hours and turn off at 9 p.m.

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Information from: KCCI-TV, https://www.kcci.com

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