Belva Deer Trail close to Phase Three

Keokuk County Engineer Andrew McGuire has spent the past several years working on the Belva Deer Trail project and is happy to report that the funds have been located to move into Phase Three, which involves the paving of the trail.

            The trail idea started before McGuire came along, when back in 2006, when some people with vision for both a paved road and a trail to Belva Deer got together with a group called CHAP, Community Health Active Partnership.

            “The group got involved with Leonard Boswell and acquired some Highway Demonstration Program Project Funds, and the trail was included with the design for paving Hwy 92,” McGuire said.

            Unfortunately, during that time, construction and fuel prices hit the sky, and the project came in higher than was estimated. The trail was established, but not paved.

            In 2011, when McGuire took over as county engineer the first thing he did was close the trail due to safety reason.

            “I found some deficiencies as far as drainage goes. There was some ruts on the trails, some washed areas and some issues from a safety standpoint, so the first thing I did was close the trail for pedestrian use,” McGuire said.

            He then went to the County Board of Supervisors with three options.

            One, we do nothing, which costs no money, time, or effort. The second option was to eliminate the trail; either by hiring someone or having the road department remove it. The third was to find a way to finish it off.”

            Both McGuire and the board were in agreement that the funds for finishing the trail should come from somewhere other than the county road department fund. Although the benefits of a trail in the area are obvious, careful consideration was taken so that finishing the trail project would not impact the road department’s ability to maintain bridges and roads.

            “We decided that we would not use Road Department resources to get this project done. That includes design and construction. My goal is to not use any of my staff.”

            For this to be done, McGuire has spent much of his free time on locating the funds and organizing the paving project. Phase two is near completion and soon the trail will be graded and ready to be paved.

 

For the rest of this story, check out the October 31st issue of The Keota Eagle.