Bike Tunnel under 35W bridge
Back February 2008, when I learned that the new 35W bridge construction would cut off a pedestrian and bike connection, and after it was clear that this cost would not be covered by the state or feds, I successfully pushed for the Council to set aside up to $1.2 million in municipal state aid funds for a bike and pedestrian tunnel as part of the rebuilding the Interstate 35W Bridge.
As the new bridge is set to reopen, I recently learned that City staff worked with MnDOT and Flatiron-Masson Joint Venture staff to design the tunnel in very efficient, safe, and cost effective manner. The final agreement between MnDOT and the City estimates the tunnel will cost about $841,500, which is less than the City’s preliminary estimate of $900,000 and is well below the $1.2 million appropriated.
The tunnel will remain closed, however, as the City secures funding to build the remaining portions of the bike and pedestrian trail between Bridge 9 (east side) to 13thAve/2nd St (west side) which will directly link Downtown to the West Bank area, the Dinkytown area, the University of Minnesota, and other easterly destinations.
I am also hoping to see investments in lighting and other security features (like call boxes) to make sure this will be a safe and well used pathway for years to come.