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The 14 new signs planted between Wabash and the Platte River aren’t the final solution MoPac Trail users have wanted for years— an even longer MoPac Trail.

But they’re a start.

The signs mark an official, 9.5-mile route of mostly gravel roads carrying cyclists from the trail’s end in rural Cass County to the Lied Bridge near South Bend and the continuation of the trail toward Omaha, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and beyond.

“We would love for the trails to connect fully, but there’s a lot of things that would have to happen for that to become a reality, so we’re happy with the project we’ve got right now,” said Julie Harris of Bike Walk Nebraska.

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Cyclists have been finding their own way for years, but MoPac Alliance volunteers spent time last year driving the area and mapping a preferred route. The Cass County Board of Commissioners approved their plan in February, and the county's roads department installed the signs.

From the trailhead in Wabash, the new route follows Alvo Road east for a mile, then shoots north on 334th Street toward the Platte River. It backtracks west on Kiser Road and then north again on Allison Drive to the South Bend Trailhead.

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Last year’s flooding damaged the Lied Bridge and swamped the access trail on the Sarpy County side. Crews from the Papio Natural Resources District expect to reopen the bridge this year, but the access trail won’t be restored until next spring, said spokesman Eric Williams.

After that, though, the new link will help open a 225-mile recreational opportunity. With just a few exceptions, mostly on the edges of Omaha, cyclists could stay on trails from Marysville, Kansas, to Coin, Iowa.

And that could also bring tourism money to rural areas during a hard time, Harris said.

“That’s what we’re hoping. If we can raise awareness and make it more intuitive and easier to navigate, more people will come,” she said. “Because biking is a pretty pandemic-proof activity.”


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