The continuation of the Court Hill Trail through Scott Park was a keystone in the connectivity of Iowa City’s trail system. Located on the east side of the city, the Phase 3 trail begins at Scott Boulevard and extends 3,200 feet along Ralston Creek through Scott Park. It connects there to an existing trail system also designed by MMS and built with the Windsor Ridge Subdivision.
The trail includes three bridges over Ralston Creek and 1,650 feet of trail spurs connecting the surrounding neighborhoods to Court Hill Trail and the network of trails beyond the park. Scott Park is a multiuse park with sports fields, playgrounds and a dog park. The majority of Scott Park is also a regional storm detention basin; the dam of the detention basin is also the base of Scott Boulevard.
Trail users are provided increased safety when crossing Scott Boulevard, a busy arterial street, via a refuge island between lanes of traffic. The island provides an opportunity for trail users to cross one lane at a time and also calms traffic that often exceeds the roadway’s posted 35 mph speed limit.
Establishing the route of the trail was an interactive process that addressed the requirements of all stakeholders and the needs of adjacent property owners, trail users and users of other park amenities. MMS provided leadership during meetings, and developed maps and diagrams of alternative trail locations to facilitate the exchange of information between all parties.
The project was funded through a FHWA Federal Recreational Trail Grant. MMS Consultants assisted the city in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act process and in obtaining the required Section 404 permits.