Chamber ambassadors and community leaders will come together on Friday, July 1, to celebrate another milestone for the CeMar Trail project. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 8:30 a.m. on the newly-constructed gateway bridge over Marion Boulevard.
Attendees are encouraged to park at Thomas Park, 343 Marion Blvd., or Zio Johno’s, 755 7th Ave., since the only access to the bridge is via the trail on foot or by bicycle.
Work began in July 2020 on demolition of the former railroad bridge over Marion Boulevard. Last year, the reconstructed railroad bridge over Indian Creek opened, paying tribute to the once-prominent Milwaukee Road line that ran through Marion.
The new pedestrian bridge over Marion Boulevard opens on Friday and features a decorative railing designed by local artist Cara Briggs Farmer of Synergy Metalworks. Artistic columns will be added after the Iowa Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration accept the project. Not only is the bridge a vital link for pedestrian traffic between Cedar Rapids and Marion, but it also creates an east/west trail connection by way of the Grant Wood Trail.
Federal funding through the Surface Transportation Program has covered 80 percent of the project cost. The City is providing a 20 percent local match.
Shoemaker and Haaland provided project design and engineering services in coordination with the artist. Peterson Contractors, Inc. served as the general contractor.
The City recently submitted a Destination Iowa grant application to the State requesting assistance with the final phase of the CeMar Trail that stretches south from Highway 100 to Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.