FINALLY, after years of us questioning the cost to build the paved trail, we have a price tag for the “fully funded” trail. Drum roll…The cheapest bid for the 3.5 miles of the “fully funded” trail -the segment between 35W and Cedar Ave -came in at over $4 million dollars!! Yes, you read that correctly, $4 million dollars for 3.5 miles of trail.
We have been told repeatedly by the City of Bloomington, the DNR, & those that represent us here that the MN Valley State Trail was a “done deal” & “fully funded”. Up until just earlier this month, when the DNR asked the City to take on the responsibility to encumber the remaining $1.7 million that was awarded by the legislature in 2014, that was supposedly enough to build the WHOLE 13.5+ miles of trail, we were finally told that wouldn’t be enough $$ and the trail WASN’T “fully funded” but it should be enough to do the 35W- Cedar segment. As we now know, and suspected, they were clearly mistaken.
Now that we do have an idea of the construction costs, we can calculate the REAL cost of the WHOLE trail. 13.5+ miles of trail for the Bloomington portion x $1.5 million/per mile = a WHOPPING $20+MILLION DOLLAR TRAIL. Coming from a construction background, I can tell you this estimate is on the low end and it doesn’t take into account the cost of a bridge at Nine Mile Creek!
As we have been saying all along, we aren’t anti-paved trail but we are for the right trails, in the right places. Building a $20 plus million dollar paved trail, in a floodplain, one that flooded 5 times from Oct 2017-Oct 2018, just does NOT make any fiscal, or environmental sense.
The truth is out. The cost is excessive. Contact your Reps, City Council Person, Mayor, your friends and family and tell them this plan for the MN Valley State Trail just doesn’t make sense anymore: The cost is too high!!
Stephanie & Save the River Bottoms crew