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Unique pedestrian bridge will connect Cedar Rapids recreation to the nation

Czech Village River Edge.high res.jpg
Czech Village River Edge.high res.jpg
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ConnectCR unveiled it's design for the pedestrian bridge that will connect NewBo to Czech village on Thursday. The ConnectCR project, which also includes enhancements at the Cedar Lake, has been in the works for six years.

Member of the board. Steve Sovern, has imagined what the bridge would look like as he rode his bike, now he know the reality.

"Today was the time in six years of people working together in this community to raise the money, to picture a bridge that was extraordinary, today is the day we can say 'this is it'," said Sorvern.

Part of the funding for the project came from the community. Last June, the group met their fundraising goal of $7 million. To date, the group has raised $8.2 million. The partnership with the city and the community's excitement mean projects like this get off the ground faster.

“It’s a grassroots effort from the community that’s had so much energy and passion behind it," said community development director for the City of Cedar Rapids, Jennifer Pratt.

The bridge will be 23 feet in width and will have a split deck. These enhancements mean a better flow of walkers and bikers. Standing tall above the surface is a 120 foot steel tower that will light up at night.

“Because it is in kind of a dark corner of the community, the height of this has to be an element of strength. It’s 120 feet plus and it will be illuminated with what I call ethereal lighting," said Sovern.

Construction is set to begin in either 2023 or 2024 with an end goal of 2025. The goal is not only to enhance the experience for local bikers and walkers, but national.

“Not only having our own residents be able to use this bridge, to read the history about the area, but also to attract visitors”

The bridge will connect near Mount Trashmore to Czech Village. The addition will stretch the trails into other national trails.

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"The combination of the lake and this extraordinary bridge, we think will attract people to start on that track across the country right here in Cedar Rapids," said Sovern.

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