The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved more than $1 million in funding for two proposed recreational trail projects in Northeast Iowa.

The Fayette County Conservation Board is receiving a $750,000 grant to construct a 1.25-mile trail and pedestrian bridge over the Turkey River in Elgin. The new trail will connect to three others near Gilbertson Park, which is located just east of the city.

The project is getting the biggest share of the combined $3.4 million dollars the state group approved for six projects during its meeting in Decorah on Wednesday (Oct. 14, 2015).

Another $600,000 is ear-marked for the Cedar Valley Nature Trail that starts in Evansdale and ends in Cedar Rapids. The conservation boards in Black Hawk and Linn counties plan to use the funding to build and pave 3.5-miles of trail around Center Point. The project will complete a 30-mile trail segment between Center Point and Ely, creating a continuous hard-surface connection between the two cities.

The remainder of the $3.4 million was awarded to projects in Burlington ($398,500), Manning ($222,300), Jasper County ($749,501), and Johnson County ($679,699).

Money for all six projects comes from the State Recreational Trails Program, which was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. The funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments, and non-profit organizations through an annual application-based program.