ANKENY, Iowa — Residents of Ankeny have been watching for months as a huge structure was going up over Oralabor Road on the city’s south side. The project is a $3 million dollar High Trestle Trail overpass.
“This project is very significant for Ankeny because it does connect three regional trails,” said Nick Lenox, Ankeny Park and Recreation Director. “We like to say we’re quickly becoming the trail hub here in Central Iowa, as you’re able to hop on the trail Gay Lea Wilson, and the Neal Smith trail, all within about a mile of each other,” Lenox said.
This is the third phase of the High Trestle Trail project in Ankeny. They also constructed a trail head area which doubles as a host for a farmers market. They also took the trail under Ankeny Boulevard and the third project is building the bridge.
“With our trail head we built and uptown, the Ankeny Market Pavilion, it’s drawing some additional businesses along the trail,” said Lenox. “We do have a very large, significant economic impact from the people that do come and visit us.”
The bridge structure weighs over 300,000 pounds. It was built to pay homage to the High Trestle Trail Bridge over the Des Moines River, using some of the same design elements. The bridge was needed as there are some 30,000 vehicles on the Oralabor Road every day.
“In Ankeny we do city resident surveys the number one priority is conservation of green space, number two, is community connections, in the good part about this project is that encompasses both of those,” said Lenox.
Plans call for the bridge to be completed and open to riders on July 1.