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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

West River Trail Map

The MPRB is improving trails along the west bank of the Mississippi River from Franklin Avenue to Plymouth Avenue. Planning was completed in the fall of 2013; construction began the week of August 18, 2014.

The MPRB has been 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.

Project Phase
Current Activity
Contact Information
Community Engagement

Project Phase

The project is in the Construction phase.

Construction Update

October 22, 2014 – Work has been proceeding from the south end of the project area (at Franklin) to the north end of the project area (Plymouth).

  • Asphalt trails are in place from Franklin to Portland except for the area fenced for the mudslide. This section of the trail will be reconstructed in 2015 after the permanent repairs are made to the failed slope.
  • Asphalt trails from Portland to Plymouth will be graded by the end of the day Tuesday, October 28. The asphalt trails will be laid from Portland to Plymouth next Wednesday, October 29.
  • A state-wide shortage exists of materials needed to produce concrete. Concrete plants are predicted to shut down for the season within the next few days. The pouring of concrete pedestrian ramps, walks, and driveways associated with the project is likely to be postponed until next spring, when the materials become available. The project consultant is determining how best to create temporary access during the winter for these areas.
  • Improvements installed in 2015 Construction Season: concrete walks, pedestrian ramps and driveways; some topsoil along the trails at the north end of the project area; trail construction in the mudslide area; parkway lighting from Franklin Avenue to 4th Street South; miscellaneous improvements such as signs, rest areas, and drinking fountains.
  • A Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be held in 2015.

Current Activity

Date Phase Activity  
08/20/2014 Construction Detour Map Updated Detour Map
08/15/2014 Construction News Release Construction to begin August 20 for Trail Improvements along West River Parkway/James I Rice Parkway
7/24/14 Design News Release Update
11/6/13 Design Board Action Concept Plan Approval - West River/James I Rice Parkway Trail Improvements
10/25/13 Design News Release Public Hearing Notice: West River/ James I Rice Parkways Trail Improvements Project
8/27/13 Pre-Design News Release Public input sought for trail improvements along west river bank
7/30/13 Pre-Design News Release Appointed Advisory Committee To Help Plan Trail Replacement along River
7/10/13 Pre-Design Board Action MPRB approves the charge and composition of an appointed Community Advisory Committee - Resolution 2013-239

Contact Information

Contact Deborah Bartels, Project Manager, MPRB Planning at or 612-230-6438

Community Engagement

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

Community Meeting Schedule: All meetings were held Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm in the Board Room of the MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis. There will be time for public comment at all meetings.


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