DNR Set to Start Construction of Brown's Creek State Trail Near Stillwater

Image Credit: MN Department of Natural Resources

After several years of planning, negotiating for the purchase of the 5.9 mile rail corridor and the removal of the Minnesota Zephyr dinner train, it appears that beginning stages of construction of the Brown's Creek State Trail can be started.

Image Credit: MN Department of Natural Resources

I wanted to know more about this project other than what was stated on the DNR's Brown's Creek State Trail Planning page so I sent an e-mail to Colin Kelly who is a DNR Parks and Trails Planner.  He promptly responded with an update provided by Kent Skaar, MN DNR Acquisition and Development Section Lead for this project.

Image Credit:  Gateway-Brown's Creek Trail Association
The e-mail update contained the following: 

Unfortunately the conversion of the Zephyr Railroad to a recreational trail has not adhered to the schedule that we had projected earlier this year. However, as you note the Zephyr Train was moved from the tracks during July and the removal of the tracks and ties will begin in the next 2-3 weeks. The completion of the tracks/ties is scheduled for no later than the end of November 2012. The corridor will be in a walkable condition following track removal which should facilitate skiing for the 2012/2013 winter.

Construction is currently scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2013, with the initial phase of development remaining focused on the Stillwater to the Browns Creek Park. Engineering and design for the entire trail is currently projected to be completed later this year and development of the trail from Browns Creek Park to the intersection with the Gateway State Trail (including a bridge over Manning Ave) will be dependent upon available funding.

Image Credit:  Gateway-Brown's Creek Trail Association

At this time we have decided to have much of the redevelopment of the TH95 Bridge completed during the course of trail construction rather than this fall.  However, the masonry work on the limestone abutments will be completed under a separate contract which is hoped to be inplace yet this Fall.

The DNR expects 75,000 people a year to use this unique trail that passes through scenic sections of woods and meadows, along a designated trout stream and past historic sites.  Future development plans would connect the Brown's Creek State Trail with a Stillwater city trail along the waterfront that would loop across the Stillwater Lift Bridge and the the new St. Croix River Bridge that is expected to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.  Click here for more information on the St. Croix River Crossing Project proposed loop trail.

The final version of the Master Plan for the project approved by the DNR Commissioner can be reviewed by clicking here.  If you have further questions regarding the project you can e-mail Parks & Trails Planner Colin Kelly at colin.kelly@state.mn.us or Acquisition & Development Section Leader  Kent Skaar at kent.skaar@state.mn.us.

1 comment:

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