Bloomington will receive $2.35 million in federal funds to construct a key section of the Minnesota Valley State Trail that runs along the Minnesota River between Lyndale Avenue and Nine Mile Creek in Bloomington. Funding for the project was included in the 2023 federal budget bill that Congress passed in December.
The project will construct a multiuse trail and a bike/pedestrian bridge over Nine Mile Creek. The trail will begin at the Lyndale Avenue trailhead, run to the west approximately 1.6 miles and provide access to Nine Mile Creek via a new bridge. The bridge will provide another access point to the river valley trails via the local trail system. This will be a critical component of the Minnesota Valley State Trail through Bloomington.
The City of Bloomington worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to prioritize the construction of this segment of the Minnesota Valley State Trail. The DNR will construct the trail. This will be the third segment of the trail construction and will help move toward full implementation and construction of the planned 13.5-mile segment through Bloomington. The DNR has already completed one segment (Phase 1A) of the trail and is working on the final design for the second funded segment (Phase 1B).
In addition to the benefits that the Minnesota River Valley Trail brings to the connectivity of the regional system, the trail segment constructed in 2020 has proven to be a huge recreational amenity for the local community.
“From the time the first segment in Bloomington opened to users, the usage and demand has exceeded expectations,” Mayor Tim Busse said. “This level of use demonstrates the local community and regional demand for the continued development of these high quality, recreational, multiuse trail facilities. We are appreciative of this funding to make this next segment of the trail possible. Many thanks to Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith and Congressman Dean Phillips for their support of this important project.”
The Minnesota Valley State Trail was authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 1969 to run from the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers upstream to the City of Le Sueur, about 72 miles long. The 13.5-mile segment through Bloomington will provide a valuable link in this statewide trail transportation and recreational trail network.