MN Valley Trail & Old Cedar Ave. Bridge
The Minnesota Valley State Trail was authorized in 1967 and the section between Shakopee and Belle Plaine has been completed. Now is the time to fund and build the Bloomington section of the trail through the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge from Ft. Snelling State Park to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge where it will link to the existing section of the trail in Scott County. A key component of the Bloomington section of the trail is a rehabilitated Old Cedar Avenue Bridge, which will connect the Minnesota Valley State Trail to the metropolitan area’s hiking and biking trails. The Three Rivers Park District has proposed to construct a biking-hiking trail linking the Lake Nokomis and Minneapolis Grand Rounds trail system to the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. A renovated bridge and the Bloomington section of the trail will also link to the extensive trail systems in Burnsville, Eagan, and throughout Dakota County as well as trails in Scott County. This magnificent trail system will be accessible to the metropolitan area’s three million residents for: ¨ Recreational biking/hiking ¨ Unparalleled bird watching and nature observation experiences on Long Meadow Lake and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge ¨ Bike commuting to jobs, shopping, and mass transit in the Bloomington South Loop area, including the Mall of America. We request that the Minnesota Legislature, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Three Rivers Park District, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the cities of Bloomington, Eagan, and Burnsville, and other governmental units work together to: a.) Use existing funds to renovate the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. b.) Transfer ownership of the renovated bridge to the Three Rivers Park District or to a multi-government partnership. c.) Form a joint powers agreement of government units to maintain the bridge, thus sharing costs and limiting long-term liabilities. d.) Authorize State Bonding funds or other funds to build the MN Valley State Trail from Ft. Snelling State Park to Bloomington Ferry.