Super Great News for All supporters of the Flyway Trail – Winona Connection
Brandon Jutz, Regional Transportation Coordinator for U.S Fish & Wildlife Service has confirmed that Fish & Wildlife Headquarters has committed to spending $700,000 as a match for the $1.2 million FLAP grant already secured. These funds will be used to complete the 2.8 miles remaining of the Flyway Trail between the Buffalo Town Hall and the access to the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge at Marshland. These funds will be available in 2022. A special thank you to David Schmidt, Brandon Jutz and Cheryl Groom, Deputy District Manager for Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.
SEH Engineering has been selected as the engineering firm responsible for Phase 2. The Flyway Trail Board has committed to funding the engineering which is now expected to cost about $142,000. Capital campaign funds will be used for one half the cost with the other half generously donated by Rick and Julie Diermeier. This is the timeline that Buffalo County received from SEH.
We sincerely hope that this timeline can be shortened. The costs associated with construction shall surely rise if construction does not begin until 2024. We will do all we possibly can to complete the project sooner but we thought you should know what is happening. Much depends on State agencies working together for the greater good.
Other grants from WDNR have been applied for and we are waiting to hear if we can expect any further help from WDNR.
A donor sign is in the works and will hopefully be installed by the railroad bridge this summer.
Trail maintenance continues to be a challenge because of the erosion caused from the rain washing over the highway onto the trail. We have had a WISDOT engineer look at it and have removed debris under the guard rails to spread out the water flooding onto the trail. This has made some difference but we have to seriously consider paving some areas. David and Mel Danzinger and Ken Passow have been great at grading and apply rock, but a more permanent solution is needed.
The Flyway Trail Board continues to advocate for the trail and wishes to thank each and every one who supports the trail. We can get this last piece of the Winona Connector Trail done and then turn our attention northward but it may not happen as fast as we all would like.