PlyWood Trail gets started several years after project was first announced

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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MERRIL, IA (KTIV) - It’s a grand plan: connect Sioux City to Le Mars, Iowa with a bike trail. The dream took one step closer on Tuesday.

The projected cost for that trail is more than $15 million.

“Trails are a great way to attract and retain families to this area. And so we’re excited to be able to provide this amenity that is long overdue for our community,” said Ryan Meyer, executive director of the PlyWood Trail, said.

PlyWood Trail is a play on words. When completed, the bike trail will be the first to connect Plymouth and Woodbury counties. Phase one started with a groundbreaking Tuesday for a portion of the trail that will connect Le Mars and Merrill.

The proposed PlyWood trail route as seen in an image on the organization's website.
The proposed PlyWood trail route as seen in an image on the organization's website.(KTIV)

A major supporter of the project is Mike Wells. He told KTIV News 4 that him and his company donated over $1million to start construction.

“I remember going around town going, okay, when are we going to start doing something and it has taken so much longer to get to this day and putting a spade in the ground than I thought. But it’s worth it,” he said.

Bureaucracy surrounding land use slowed the project, which was launched in 2015. Construction is only underway for “connection 1,” but organizers hope connections two and three will happen as early as 2023.

For phase two, the trail will connect Merrill to Hinton. The final phase will see the trail reach Sioux City. The proposed path follows closely to U.S. Highway 75, but must cross over water 11 times.

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