Trail connection expected this summerFor years, the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department has been trying to work out a safer trail route in the area of County Road 46/47 and Pleasant Drive. This summer, a new trail will be constructed that will get pedestrians and bicyclists off the road and away from vehicle traffic.
By: Katrina Styx, The Hastings Star-Gazette
For years, the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department has been trying to work out a safer trail route in the area of County Road 46/47 and Pleasant Drive. This summer, a new trail will be constructed that will get pedestrians and bicyclists off the road and away from vehicle traffic.
Currently, trail users traveling in that area have to travel along the shoulder of CR 46/47 between Village Trail and Pleasant Drive, and along Pleasant Drive to the trail connection at Northridge Drive. It’s a section that Director of Parks and Recreation Barry Bernstein said he won’t even touch when out bicycling with his family.
“It’s posted 45 (miles per hour) with traffic counts up to 10,000,” he told the council Monday evening. “Too busy to ride along.”
About a year ago, the city got a $100,000 trail connection grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, with a caveat that Hastings had to spend $200,000 on the project by June 30, 2012. Money in hand kicked the project into high gear, and discussions got going between the city and the landowner who owns the majority of the land where the trail was being proposed.
A few months ago, the city and landowner settled on a trail alignment that follows the south side of the Vermillion River between Pleasant Drive and West 31st Street. Near West 31st Street, the trail would turn south from the river to the north side of CR 46/47. While along CR 46/47, the trail would run in the right-of-way to the overpass over the river. The new trail would connect to the existing one by passing underneath the overpass much like it does under the Vermillion Street bridge at the Vermillion River.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.
The total project is estimated to cost about $610,000. Funding sources include about $100,000 from Dakota County’s parks and transportation funds, $100,000 from the DNR grant, $126,570 from budgeted trail funds and $50,000 that was left over from the industrial park ravine trail project. The remaining cost will be spread across Ward Four park dedication funds ($114,360), the 2013 tax levy ($38,120), undedicated parks money ($38,120), wards two and three park dedication funds ($12,706 each) and ward one park dedication funds ($2,335).
Due to a last-minute realization on the part of Dakota County, the county cost share may be reduced by as much as $10,000, leaving a balance as of yet unaccounted for. City Engineer Nick Egger said he’s hoping project bids will be favorable enough to account for the gap.
The final project cost is expected to be available in about a month, once bids come in and the county determines exactly how much it can fund.