Central Iowa bicyclists will soon have easier access to the area's hundreds of miles of trails.

Norwalk recently broke ground on a 2.4mile, $2.66millionpaved trail that will connect with the Great Western Trail northwest of the city in Polk County. Carlisle, Des Moines and Warren County will start construction in 2023 on a 3 mile, $2.8 million connection-trail that will bridge the gap between the 11-mile Summerset Trail and the greater central Iowa trail system.

Both projects, when complete, could potentially bring more commerce to all communities adjacent to the trails, according to local government officials.

Norwalk eases travel of local bikers

Robin Leaper, the director of Norwalk Parks and Recreation, said the 2.4-mile trail will be paved and about 10 feet wide.

Construction will be in three phases. The first, under construction now, extends from County Line Road south on50th Avenue and then east on Beardsley Street. Phase two will include a bridge for the trail over an inlet on Lake Colchester. And phase three will extend the trail further down Beardsley Street until the end of Lakewood Elementary School's campus near Lexington Avenue.

Leaper said the third phase will connect to other trails in the city that go from Lexington Avenue to Highway 28.

She said the tentative completion date of phases one and two is August; phase three hasn't been put out for bid yet.

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