By Ryan Gueningsman
Local roads aren’t the only thing experiencing construction this summer a major overhaul of trails and roads at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve northeast of Delano is also set to begin Monday, July 7.
The project will widen the existing seven miles of paved trails from 8 to 10 feet, reduce trail slopes to increase accessibility for all physical abilities, improve sight lines and riding conditions, as well as reconstruct the park roads and parking lots.
A rainguard feature that will assist in stormwater management is also in the plans.
“The major impact is that the paved trail system is closed seven days a week,” commented Three Rivers Park District Senior Civil Engineer Amy Gurski. The non-paved trail system, including horse, hiking, and mountain bike trails will also be closed during this time.
The park will be available for limited use throughout the project, with the Beachside and Lakeview group picnic areas, boat rental and launch, fishing pier, general picnic area, and swimming beach open on the weekends and holidays.
The portion of the horse/dog trail east of East Lake Rebecca Road will also be open weekends and holidays, with access available from the horse parking area.
Gurski said the project has estimated costs of $3.6 million, with project costs coming from Metropolitan Council. Knife River Corporation of Sauk Rapids is the main contractor for the project.
The contractor has a target completion date of Nov. 30 for this year, with final pavement finishing taking place next spring.
Lake Rebecca Park has not received any major renovation in some time, Gurski said, adding that Lake Rebecca is one of Three Rivers Park District’s lower use parks, but said it averages about 140,000 visitors annually.
She said the park system is planning for future development of the area, and wants to have this rehabilitation project done. She said the project has been in Three Rivers’ five-year capital improvement plan since 2005, and said projects are implemented as soon as funding becomes available.
“It’s unfortunate the majority of the park has to be closed, but the end result will be that the public will have a great park,” Gurski said.
Other nearby park alternatives include Delano’s city parks, Baker Park Reserve in Medina, which offers paved hiking, turf, dog, and horse trails, as well as Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, located on the Crow River, west of Rogers.
Three Rivers Park District is a natural resources-based park system that manages nearly 27,000 acres of park reserves, regional parks, regional trails, and special-use facilities.
For more information, visit www.threeriversparkdistrict.org.