SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – According to the Governing Body of Sports Cycling, nearly one in three Americans will ride a bike this year. In Sioux City, local leaders are hard at work making sure some of that pedal power happens here.
The paved trail along the Missouri River will cover some 12 miles, connecting Chautauqua Park on the city’s Southside to Riverside Park near the Iowa-South Dakota border.
Cyclists KCAU 9 spoke with Wednesday night said the expansion is needed and will provide a great recreational experience away from busy highway traffic.
“I just enjoy the freedom to get out on the road and get some fresh air. It’s nice to get off the roads. It’s much safer. You don’t have to worry about interacting with cars any more than necessary. It’s been years in the making, and we’re real pleased for it to happen,” said Jason Anderson, a Sioux City Cyclist.
Anderson said he regularly pedals on Sioux City trails, and the expansion of the Missouri River trail is something he’s waited a long time for.
“Anytime we can add more trails I think it’s really cool for the town. I know the city has worked really hard with the Siouxland cyclists and with the department of transportation in general to find a route for us and this will be phenomenal,” said Anderson.
With a price tag of about $2.5 million, the project wouldn’t happen without community support. Just this week, the Missouri River Historical Development (MRHD) handed over a check for almost half that total.
“MRHD’s ability to make these grants is dependent upon on the success of our partner, the Hardrock Casino,” said Treasurer of the MRHD Bod DeSmidt
“We can’t do it without our partners, without the people helping sponsor this stuff. What we’re doing is adding tremendous value tedious opportunity, something that we think people in Siouxland are really going to enjoy,” said Parks and Recreation Supervisor John Byrnes.
While providing great recreational opportunities is the most obvious purpose for the trail expansion, DeSmidt said these kinds of trails also are a driving force in attracting people to work and live in Sioux City.
“It’s an expected amenity, just like when people move to a town they expect you have tennis courts. They expect today pickleball courts. They expect to see ball fields. They expect trails,” said DeSmidt.
“It will be great really looking forward to it,” said Anderson.