Tuesday, November 26, is the 100th anniversary of one of the worst railroad accidents on the right-of-way that is now the Raccoon River Valley Trail. A southbound passenger train and a northbound freight train collided at this site, which is one and a half miles south of Jefferson in Greene County, killing one railroad worker, injuring about 10 passengers and injuring several other railroad workers. The site is marked today by a large boulder, which is engraved with part of the story, as you can see in the lower photo here. You can read more about the accident in the story below here in the RRVT News.
Huge log jam that has been building at least 40 years has been removed from under the trestle bridge that carries the Raccoon River Valley Trail over the North Raccoon River south of Jefferson. The contractor whose company handled the job says they “took out at least 100 trees, some so stinking heavy I couldn’t pull them with an excavator.” Coming next will be stabilization of the south riverbank under the trail’s approach to the bridge.
Raccoon River Valley Trail Association’s Chuck Offenburger is recognized by a Mid-American trails group “for his dedication and commitment” to the RRVT and other trails in Iowa. The nomination was made by the Iowa DOT and the award was announced at a 9-state regional conference in Illinois in late October. We have a chat here with Offenburger about his work and views on the RRVT.
The Raccoon River Valley Trail Association has now moved its headquarters from little Cooper to Perry, where administrative services are being contracted from the staff of the Dallas County Conservation department. The new contact information for us is right here. RRVT users will notice little change — except better service — as the association makes the changes to keep up with the growth of intererst in the trail.
David Dahlquist and his RDG Planning & Design team propose a public art plan for the Raccoon River Valley Trail that is as big, bold and imaginative as it needs to be. It will take $1-million-plus to get it started in Waukee, and more to repeat it in scale in other trail towns. Could it possibly be worth it? The High Trestle Trail provides a quick answer to that! “You can’t just put art along a trail,” Dahlquist says. “The trail has to BE art.”
“Market to Market Relay/Nebraska” had 500 teams (nearly 4,000 runners) last weekend for the race between Omaha and Lincoln. Registration opened Monday (October 14) for next spring’s “Market to Market Relay/Iowa,” and three days later “we were 45 percent full,” officials said. The Iowa race on May 10 will again use the Raccoon River Valley Trail for much of the 75-mile run from Jefferson to Des Moines.
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