COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Officials from six western Iowa counties are working together to mark a 209-mile bicycle route that would run from Woodbury County to Fremont County.

The Frontier Iowa Trails Network is working on the designation of the Lewis and Clark Today Route, The Daily Nonpareil ( ) reported. It’ll run along the Missouri River, following the path of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

“If we get enough counties doing something, communicating, we can make this work,” said Brian Leaders, who works for the National Park Service and is helping spearhead the project.

The project’s first phase will create a “shared route” that runs on highways, county roads and other types of streets. The majority of the trail would be paved.

The project’s second phase will be the implementation of another bicycle trail off the roadway.

Leaders and others are raising money for installation of the route’s signs, which is expected to cost $200,000.

“The idea is to not over-sign, but to give enough direction to get people from point A to point B,” Leaders said. “We can sign this route in a year.”

Leaders said the signs signaling the roadway as a shared route should promote awareness for drivers of vehicles.

“When there are bicycle signs on the road, drivers will see and think, ‘I better look out for cyclists,'” he said.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has $230,000 in grant funding available. Leaders said the group is required to create a proposal to present to the department in its grant application.

The county board voted unanimously at its May 16 meeting on a resolution to endorse the department application, which includes a layout by an engineering firm, cost estimates, community support and more.

Information from: The Daily Nonpareil,

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