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West River/James I Rice Parkways Trail Improvements
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West River/James I Rice Parkways Trail Improvements
Home  < Design & Planning  < Current Projects  

West River/James I Rice Parkways Trail Improvements

Location: West River Parkway/James I Rice Parkway



Deborah Bartels
Project Manager

Project Description
Improvement of the trails along the west bank of the Mississippi River from Franklin Avenue to Plymouth Avenue.

West River Trail Map

What's New

Planning was completed in the fall of 2013; construction began the week of August 18, 2014. Trail paving was complete as of November 1, 2014. The new trail will be plowed for bicycle and pedestrian use during the winter of 2014-15.

November 17, 2014 - The construction season has ended:

  • All the paving is complete.  The MPRB will be plowing the bicycle trail for winter use by both cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Most of the traffic control signs have been removed (including the barrels along the parkways) except for those at the barricades on either side of the mudslide between 4th Street South and Riverside Park along West River Parkway.
  • Most regulatory signs have been installed. 

Remaining items for 2015 construction season: 

  • installation of Trail Use blue blade signs and directional signs;
  • reconstructing the stretch of trail inside the mudslide barricades;
  • replacement of damaged planks across from Mill City Museum;
  • chain link fencing along the steep bank near Riverside Park;
  • guardrail at 10th Avenue bridge;
  • final seeding;
  • relocation of kiosks;
  • installation of three drinking fountains and a few benches;  
  • reinstalling the pavers under the bridges along James I Rice Parkway.

A Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be held in 2015.

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Project Milestones

Spring 2015 - Construction complete, with the exception of the section of trail within the area secured for the mudslide, between Franklin Avenue and 4th Street S.

Summer 2015 - remaining trail section at mudslide. Lighting along West River Parkway. Ribbon cutting ceremony.

Project History

November 5, 2014 - completed this week:

  • remaining asphalt trails from Portland to Plymouth
  • remaining concrete flatwork (pedestrian ramps, curb and gutter, walks)
  • topsoil spread along the trails (already complete from
    Franklin to I35 E
  • seeding and mulch along the trails
  • 56 trees planted by MPRB Forestry along West River Parkway

August 20, 2014

August 15, 2014

July 24, 2014

June 30, 2014

  • Project is authorized and issued for bid

April 15, 2014

  • Environmental documents, Right of Way Certificate, and construction plans and specifications approved by MnDOT

February 2, 2014

  • Consultant submits final Project Memorandum and Environmental Assessment to MnDOT including: plans, engineer’s estimate, Plan Review Checklist, Lab Testing & Plant Inspections Services Request, Right of Way Certificate #1-A, Utility Relocations Certificate, Permits (Mpls, USACE, MPCA, MWMO, DNR, etc), information on any tied projects in the contract

January 15, 2014

  • Submit plans to Minneapolis Public Works, MWMO, and other regulatory agencies

December 20, 2013

  • Draft PM submitted to MnDOT

November 20, 2013

November 6, 2013

October 18, 2013

  • First draft of environmental documents submitted to MnDOT

October 15, 2013

  • CAC Meeting #3

October 1, 2013

  • Open House

September 24, 2013

  • CAC Meeting #2

September 3, 2013

  • CAC Meeting #1

August 27, 2013

July 20, 2013

July 10, 2013

June 22, 2013

  • Completion of topographic survey

June 19, 2013

  • Planning Committee of the Board meeting - Resolution to approve CAC charge and composition

June 8, 2013

  • Meet with City and County officials regarding Franklin and West River Pkway connections

June 5, 2013

  • RFPs from engineering consultant due/committee meets to select
  • MPRB Board meeting - CEP, Action to approve CAC charge and composition

May 22, 2013

  • Preliminary Environmental Documents submitted to agencies

May 15, 2013

  • RFP out to consultants

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Get Involved

An appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) helped guide planning process.

Public Hearing - November 6, 2013

CAC Meeting #3 - October 15, 2013

Open House - October 1, 2013

  • Review planning efforts to date

CAC Meeting #2 - September 24, 2013

CAC Meeting #1 - September 3, 2013

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The MPRB was awarded $1.8 million in federal transportation enhancement funding for 3.5 miles of trail improvements along West River Parkway (WRP) and James I Rice Parkway (JIRP). Regional Park Operation and Maintenance Lottery in Lieu Proceeds and the Minnesota Legacy Amendment will provide the required local match. These trails currently provide vital off-street recreational and commuting connections within the region and city and are part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. The project area receives over 1.6 million visits annually.

The project calls for complete reconstruction of the existing trails for improved safety and durability. Some segments of bicycle and pedestrian trails have not been reconstructed since their original installation 27 years ago. New paving, lighting, signs, and rest stops with benches and drinking water are included in the project scope. The trails will be redesigned to meet current MPRB and federal standards. These improvements are not expected to change the current use of this area as a popular trail segment with multiple connections to existing on and off-street trail systems, including the Cedar Lake Regional Trail and the newly-opened U of M Trail.

This project intersects two other planning studies currently underway at the MPRB: The Central Riverfront Master Plan and the Waterworks/Fuji-ya Visioning.

The project is funded by the federal Transportation Enhancement funding, as part of the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for Fiscal Year 2014. Operations and Maintenance funds from 2014 and 2015 will provide the required 20% local match for construction as well as the estimated costs associated with surveying, testing, planning and design.

  • Federal Highway Administration - West River Pkwy
    • $962,000
      • 80% of construction costs only
  • Federal Highway Administration - James I Rice Pkwy
    • $832,000
      • 80% of construction costs only
  • Regional Park Operations and Maintenance funding( Met Council)
    • $967,500
      • 20% construction match + misc project costs

West River Parkway History

James I Rice Parkway History

2001 Informational report on plank road

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