New north Minneapolis trail construction set to begin next week

Construction is set to begin next week on a mixed-use riverfront trail in north Minneapolis that will extend a popular regional trail.

The new riverfront trail segment will connect Ole Olson Park and the 26th Avenue North Overlook, creating a new 1,000-foot trail in the process that officials hope will add "new riverside experiences" to the area for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail also connects the 26th Avenue North Overlook to the downtown riverfront and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway – a 51-mile continuous bike/walk trail that circles most of Minneapolis.

The addition will connect to an off-street trail on 26th Avenue North, which travels across north Minneapolis between the Mississippi River and Theodore Wirth Regional Park.

Contractors are scheduled to begin work on July 8, with hopes of completion by late-fall this year.

Construction will begin with strategic tree clearing over portions of the site – an act that officials say is unavoidable due to grading that will ensure the trail has a safe incline and sightlines.

Once completed, the new trail will take people down the riverbank, under the BNSF railway bridge, and back up to street level on either side of the connection, according to project documents.

The trail will also be constructed to withstand emergency and maintenance vehicles, up to a pickup truck, when needed.