There’s been a bunch of coverage of the final phase of the Cedar Lake Trail. After years of right-of-way issues, the construction of Target Field, and funding, the final easement to extend the trail to the river has been acquired.
The timing for this is interesting – because of the many issues with right-of-way, as well as building a mile of trail through the densest part of the urban core, this is going to be monstrously expensive. Estimates for the total cost of this last segment exceed $9.2 million dollars, paid via a combination of state funds, federal earmark, donations and even funds from the city of Minneapolis.
A lot of people question this expense, particularly at a time of challenging federal, state and municipal budgets.
One thing to keep in mind is that this won’t ever become any cheaper, short of a zombie apocalypse that devastates that piece of Minneapolis and makes the construction easier. Costs to get the construction going are cheaper now than at any time in the recent past, due to high labor supply.
The maze to get from the de facto current trailhead to the river frustrates many. Some of the city’s recent shenanigans with parking, bike lanes, taking streets two-way from one-way, and etc. haven’t helped. Obviously, this of itself doesn’t justify expense – but the completion has been planned for many years.
Completion is scheduled for November. I am assuming that the extension, like the rest of the trail, will be plowed during the winter, adding to the Minneapolis commuter trail network that is quite workable even in the nastiest months of the year. However, it’s always good to confirm plowing each year – budgets being what they are.