Bridge 9 extension - victory!
Things have changed since I wrote this earlier this week. Inspired by the questions I've been asking, the City's highly professional Public Works staff found a way to move funding into the tunnel under the I-35W bridge, extending the Bridge 9 trail from the U of M to Downtown.
The funds they found come from unused Municipal State Aid dollars allocated to upgrading at-grade rail crossings. Due to changes at the Federal level, it's unclear whether we need these projects at all, anymore.
My colleagues strongly supported this shift of funds: Council Members Ostrow, Hofstede, Johnson, Lilligren, Schiff, Glidden and Hodges joined me in voting for staff's solution. CMs Lilligren and Hodges were especially helpful in building this consensus. The tunnel will be built. We will have a trail connecting Southeast to Downtown.