Rows of small colored flags sticking out of the ground along a section of Kenyon Road mark the spot where the next piece of the Fort Dodge trail system will be located.
Construction of that trail segment along the front of the Friendship Haven property will begin as soon as possible and be completed by the end of the year, according to Julie Thorson, the chief executive officer of the retirement community.
After it's completed, the section may appear to be a trail to nowhere, separated from any other trail in the city. That condition will only be temporary, because the section will be part of a much longer trail that will extend from Eighth Street and Kenyon Road to Tower Drive. Construction of the rest of the trail is to begin next year, according City Engineer Chad Schaeffer.
The trail work to be done this year was timed to coincide with the construction going on at Friendship Haven, Schaeffer said.
''Since there's already a contractor working there, it makes sense,'' Schaeffer said.
He said the city has an agreement with Friendship Haven for the trail work. Under that agreement, Friendship Haven will have Jensen Builders Ltd., of Fort Dodge, do the work and the city will reimburse the retirement community for the construction costs.
Schaeffer said the cost of the 1,100 foot hard-surface trail has been estimated at $68,575.
In other trail developments, Lori Branderhorst, the city's director of parks, recreation and forestry, reported that contractors are expected to begin pouring concrete for a trail around the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course today. That path is part of the riverfront trail package designed by the Army Corps of Engineers.