Highway 93 Trail Funding
Salmon community members had been working on trails initiatives long before my family moved here in 2002. I remember attending a trails meeting in 2006, after I saw this inviting flyer.
We would get excited about progress, and then disappointed at setbacks. The City got a Safe Routes to School grant in 2007, complete with a part-time coordinator, and we thought we were really on the right track. Then a new City Council returned the funding to the State. Rats.
In 2010, Max Lohmeyer moved from the Grand Junction area to Salmon and opened a bike shop. The Bureau of Land Management brought Liz Townley to Salmon as their new recreation planner. With the help of Max and avid cyclists like Dave Lingle, the BLM started focusing on the Discovery Hill area just northeast of Salmon.
Meanwhile JoAnn Wolters had cracked the code on getting community transportation ideas noticed by the Idaho Department of Transportation. JoAnn made sure Lemhi County had a seat at the statewide transportation table, and asked that a recently completed Trails Action Plan be incorporated into the Lemhi County Master Transportation Plan in 2012.
In 2013, the City of Salmon and Idaho Transportation Department started construction on the trail to City Park. Last July, I watched as kids could finally ride bikes and walk safely to the swimming pool, the baseball fields and basketball courts. A woman cruised along in her electric wheelchair. A mom and her baby took a stroller outing.
In 2014, Salmon Valley Stewardship was lucky to work with a talented team on a trails feasibility study for Lemhi County. We took the findings to Kimbol Allen, our District Engineer at Idaho Transportation Department, and pleaded with him to put in for a Highway 93 Right of Way trail under the Federal Lands Access Program. Kimbol appreciated the hundreds of people who showed up to our many public meetings and the strong show of support from our Lemhi County Commissioners. He agreed.
The south part of our Highway 93 trail proposal was selected for funding just days ago. A paved trail about 5 miles long will be sited along the west side of the highway all the way to the Shoup Bridge. Construction isn’t slated to begin until 2018, but as it turns out, the good citizens of Lemhi County are extremely patient, and persistent. Congratulations and thanks to all for never giving up!