Duluth City Council action clears way for Lakewalk extension to Brighton BeachThe Duluth City Council called a special meeting Thursday night to keep an extension of the Lakewalk to Brighton Beach on track.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
The Duluth City Council called a special meeting Thursday night to keep an extension of the Lakewalk to Brighton Beach on track.
The meeting allowed for the first reading of a couple of ordinances granting easements for the path to cross property at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Freshwater Laboratory and then cut underneath Congdon Boulevard (state Highway 61) by way of an arched concrete tunnel en route to Brighton Beach.
A second reading of the ordinances will occur Monday, allowing councilors to vote. Neither easement involves any charge to the city.
The council also will be asked Monday to approve a resolution permanently closing the intersection of 61st Avenue East and Congdon Boulevard. Project Manager Matt Decur said the intersection has unsafe sight lines.
Plans call for 61st Avenue East to dead-end about 150 feet north of Congdon Boulevard, while access to the road is maintained from Superior Street. The Lakewalk extension will continue south past where 61st Avenue ends.
The Lakewalk currently ends at 60th Avenue East in Lester Park. It is expected to cost about $1.9 million to push the path nearly a mile east to Brighton Beach.
Decur said speedy council action next week will be needed to get rolling on the project so that grant money is not put in jeopardy by delays.
The city received a
$1.2 million federal Transportation Enhancement Fund grant and another $400,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to assist with the extension.
The Lakewalk will cross the Lester River by way of a bridge that will be built to the south of the existing railroad trestle. Most of the extension is expected to be completed this summer. But construction of the
11-foot-tall arched tunnel under Congdon Boulevard won’t begin until Sept. 17, according to Decur, who explained that installing it will require the temporary closure of the road. As a result, the city won’t bite off that portion of the project until both Grandma’s Marathon and the NorthShore Inline Marathon have been completed.