(Farragut) -- Organizers of a Farragut Trail project are slated to hold a soft opening this weekend to show off the first portion of the project.
The Farragut Admiral Trail will unveil phase one of the project, which includes approximately 1.5 miles from New Orleans Street in Farragut to Manti Road. Jeff McQueen is chair of the Admiral Trail Steering Committee. He says the project began in 2015 when the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Farragut City Council partnered on the purchase of the former Burlington Northern Rail Line between Farragut and Shenandoah for a trail to connect to the Wabash Trace.
"They had a goal and a dream to connect Farragut with Shenandoah," said McQueen. "There are a lot of cyclists that right now are using the highways and the county roads to get from one end to the other. They thought this would be a safe alternative."
When completed, the trail will be 4.2 miles long with a trailhead located at Farragut City Park. McQueen says construction work on the first section is complete.
"Right now, we finished phase one, which is all granular," said McQueen. "As I went through Farragut (Tuesday) morning, it looked like the signage crew was up putting the signs the up. The next step will be some chain link fence around bridge 2, which is paved over. From there, we'll go onto the second phase, which will be from 390th Street to Highway 2."
The committee will hold a soft opening for the first section of the trail Saturday from 9-11 a.m. in conjunction with the Farragut all-class reunion. McQueen says Farragut Alumni have been among the big backers of the project.
"With the all-class reunion coming up this Saturday, we wanted to have a soft opening or a walk to show the alumni -- and not just the alumni, because we've had citizens from Shenandoah, Sidney and Hamburg that have gotten behind us -- to show them this is what we've got so far and this is our dream," said McQueen.
In addition to grant funding, the committee is soliciting private donations to help complete the project. For more information or to donate, visit farragutadmiraltrail.com. McQueen was a recent guest on KMA's AM in the AM program Tuesday.