Rice Creek Trail construction continues despite cold front

Despite recent snowfalls, the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department staff already has their eyes set on summer plans. 

On Monday, March 21, Parks and Recreation closed a section of the Rice Creek North Regional Trail between the pedestrian bridge at Mississippi Street near County Road H and Long Lake Regional Park. 

Construction crews will be extending the current trail from County Road H to Long Lake Regional Park. This will add 1.4 miles to the trail, connecting the current path to Poppyseed Drive and Towns Edge Terrace mobile home park in Mounds View.

A boardwalk and two pedestrian bridges will be added along the trail extension as well.

Basic preparation has been going on since January. Belaire Sitework Services has been clearing the trail corridor and beginning to grade the land, focusing heavily on the southern end of the trail to prepare for the new pedestrian bridge that will be located there. 

Alisha Seifert of Ramsey County Parks and Recreation said that construction is beginning to pick up as warmer weather approaches and the ground begins to thaw. Once grading is finished, work will begin on the trail, bridges and boardwalk.

The projected completion date is Aug. 1. Seifert explained that everything is moving along as scheduled so far, but that it is always a little unpredictable due to weather.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,762,271. Funding is provided through the Federal Transportation Alternative Program grant and the Regional Park and Trail Capital Improvement Fund as well as through Ramsey County funding.

Although the overall price tag might raise some eyebrows, Seifert said the trail is a worthwhile investment. Not only will it help improve the experience for trail users going forward, but the extension also creates greater accessibility for people in the area.

“It’s a popular and well-used trail,” Seifert said, “and this project helps make sure that everyone can enjoy it.”

 

Elizabeth Jaeger can be reached at ejaeger@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7814

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