LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Trail enthusiasts were greeted by a welcome sight Sept 5, when work began on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail project in Lester Prairie.
Workers began by clearing trees within the trail right-of-way. That step was expected to be completed by today, according to Lester Prairie Community Development Coordinator Adam Birkholz.
Construction of the base of the trail is expected to begin Monday, Sept. 10.
The process will begin at the west end of the project at the intersection with McLeod County Road 1, and progress toward the eastern end of the project at the Carver County line.
The small trestle bridge east of McLeod County Road 9 will be replaced with box culverts. That work is expected to take place in early October, Birkholz said.
He noted it will be nice to have construction on the trail completed this fall.
After years of preparation and multiple grant applications, the McLeod County Board approved an agreement with the State of Minnesota last November to accept a Legacy grant for the development of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail from the Carver County line through the City of Lester Prairie to McLeod County Road 1.
Funding for the project will come from $647,000 in Legacy funds, and a $33,000 local match from the City of Hutchinson and McLeod County for in-kind engineering services, for a total of $680,000.
Birkholz previously noted that paving the trail through the city will connect Lester Prairie to Carver and Hennepin counties, and bring in trail users who previously turned around where the paving stopped at the Carver County line.
In June, the McLeod County Board awarded the construction project to Structural Specialties, contingent upon approval of Change Order 1, with a low bid of $718,152.
The board also approved the change order, which reduced some plan items and quantities for a net reduction of $115,484. This puts the net construction cost at $602,688, which left grant funding available to cover bridge engineering ($18,764), plus some changes or overruns which are typically a part of any construction project.
Watch Herald Journal and www.heraldjournal.com for updates as the project progresses.