Baker and Crow Hassan parks will be connected
By Ryan Gueningsman
LORETTO, MN The City of Loretto will soon be a connecting point between two of the area’s most popular parks Baker Park Reserve in Medina, and Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover.
Hennepin County, the Three Rivers Park District, and the cities of Loretto and Medina have been working together on a regional trail project between Baker Park Reserve and Highway 55.
The trail will be a multi-use pedestrian/bicycle trail along the east side of CSAH 19, and will fill a three-mile gap in a nine-mile trail corridor that will connect Baker Park Reserve in Medina to Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, as well as the Luce Line State Trail.
The remaining six-mile portion was constructed as part of the roadway project north of Highway 55.
Three phases to trail construction
The trail project consists of three segments.
The south segment is located entirely within Baker Park, and begins as a connection to an existing trail south of CSAH 24, ending at Maple Street.
This segment will also feature a short trail section along the west side of CSAH 19 at the Spurzem Creek channel to provide a safe connection to Baker Park facilities for residents located in nearby neighborhoods.
The middle segment is located between Maple Street and CSAH 11, and the northern segment will complete the trail between CSAH 11 and Highway 55, going through Loretto.
The project will be funded with federal aid, state aid, and local funds (from Three Rivers Park District).
Construction began on the south segment in fall of 2008 and should be completed in spring 2009. The remaining segments north of Maple Street are anticipated to be constructed in 2009.
“We’ve got the first phase in construction. That’ll be done this year,” commented Nick Peterson, a design engineer with the Hennepin County Transportation Department. “Right now, we are on schedule for construction (on phases two and three) to begin in very early July, and we anticipate it will be done this year.”
Peterson said an exact completion time isn’t known yet, but estimated it could be mid-November.
Short-term road closures expected in Loretto
Peterson said there will be a time when CSAH 19 in Loretto has to be closed for the project, and said several things are expected to be completed during the closure.
“The railroad crossing in town will be upgraded,” Peterson explained. “During that time, the road has to be closed. We don’t know for sure when that’s going to be, but it’ll likely be in July, early in the project.”
At the same time, the City of Loretto will have some water main work done, Peterson said.
The road closure will be limited to the railroad crossing itself, and about one block north of the tracks.
“We anticipate the railroad closure will take eight days, and hopefully, the water main can happen at the same time,” Peterson said. “If it can’t, we anticipate that would be another four days perhaps, but we want it to happen at the same time.”
During the short-term road closure, an official detour route will be posted, directing northbound traffic on CSAH 19 to head east on Hennepin County Road 115, then north on Hennepin County Road 118, then back to Highway 55.
“Any detour is certainly an inconvenience,” Peterson admitted, but said things are being coordinated so there is as little inconvenience as possible.
As the trail goes through Loretto, it will be on the east side of the roadway and be located where the sidewalk is presently. Peterson said the sidewalk will be enhanced to meet trail standards. He said no buildings will be moved, but there will be some things that will be reconstructed.
The 10-foot-wide paved regional trail will support walking, jogging, hiking, dog-walking, inline skating, and bicycling.
Peterson said curb-to-curb, CSAH 19 will remain the same through Loretto, and said there will be a median constructed near the railroad crossing to coincide with the city’s plans to eventually turn that intersection into a “quiet zone.”
The median is a safety feature that the city can utilize as a requirement of designating the intersection as a quiet zone, meaning that trains passing through would not blow their whistles.
Task force being formed to promote business
A group of local businesspeople is in the beginning stages of forming a task force that will work to promote business in Loretto.
Local business owners or managers are asked to attend an informational meeting Thursday, April 2 at 10 a.m. at the Loretto City Hall to learn how to join with other businesses for this unique opportunity to promote Loretto.
For more information
Information on the project and updates can be found online at www.co.hennepin.mn.us.
Type “trail project” into the search feature on the upper right of the home page, and the CSAH 19 trail project should appear as the top result.
One may also contact the Hennepin County Transportation Department at 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina, MN, 55340 or by calling (612) 596-0300.
The City of Loretto may be contacted online at www.ci.loretto.mn.us or by calling (763) 479-4305.
Meeting set to develop Loretto business task force
A group of local businesspeople is in the beginning stages of forming a task force that will work to promote business in Loretto. An informational meeting will take place Thursday, April 2 at 10 a.m. at the Loretto City Hall.
Any interested business owners or residents are encouraged to attend to continue building a task force to promote business in Loretto.