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An Easier Route to Wolf Creek Park By: Kevin Williams, Grundy County Conservation Director

August 29, 2019
Reinbeck Courier
If you have avoided the longer and sometimes muddier route to Wolf Creek Park this year, and were patiently waiting for construction and Mother Nature to be finished then the waiting is over. The exciting news to report is that after almost nine months, the Wolf Creek bridge on M Ave is completed and open as of last Friday, August 23rd! The access to Wolf Creek Park is now open coming from the North again! The road and bridge were closed to traffic on November 26, 2018. It had a marked reduction in park visitation while closed. For staff, it required a detouring of several miles to mow, clean restrooms, and the hundred other jobs that still needed to continue at the park. But after months of construction, the old bridge is now replaced with a new higher and longer and much stronger bridge taking its place. Besides the impressive difference in bridge size and shape, you will notice that the Comet trail has changed a bit (actually a lot), too. The new bridge required that the road be raised about six feet at the trail crossing, so, that meant the parking lot for the trail and park needed to be raised that much, as well. In total, raising the bridge to its new height required moving 17,785 Cubic Yards of dirt! It took a little getting used to for me as I watched that taking shape. But when the seeding is done shortly and grass is growing, I think it quickly will look right. This project utilized Federal funds and the price tag was around a million dollars. Sometimes I see projects and hear costs and wonder where it went. In this case, however, I can see (and have watched) the tremendous amount of time and materials that go into a project like this. For the park and its watershed, I think we can look forward to a relief in damage we see from flooding. The trail spur that comes off the Comet Trail into the park and campground (via the 72-foot suspension bridge) receives damage from floodwaters. Sometimes multiple times per year. It is yet to be seen if we experience some relief in that regard. We are certainly hoping that but will just have to wait and see. This late summer and fall, come take a look at the new bridge. With this construction completed, I expect the new shower/restroom building will be seeing some action yet this year.

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