Duluth council considering another $1 million for expansion of Lakewalk, trail systemThe Duluth City Council already had approved spending up to $700,000 on the Lakewalk extension but will be asked to approve an additional $150,000 in bond funding Monday. Councilors also received a new bonding request for $875,000 to help fund the first phase of what will become the Cross-City Trail.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
The city of Duluth is considering another $1 million investment in its growing trail system.
The City Council learned Thursday that an eastward extension of the Lakewalk to Brighton Beach will cost more than 20 percent more than anticipated, because of cost overruns. The council already had approved spending up to $700,000 on the Lakewalk extension but will be asked to approve an additional $150,000 in bond funding Monday.
Councilors also received a new bonding request for $875,000 to help fund the first phase of what will become the Cross-City Trail.
David Montgomery, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the increased costs of the Lakewalk extension were partly the result of needing to relocate a bridge across the Lester River and encountering unexpected rock during the installation of an underground passageway designed to carry trail users safely across Congdon Boulevard.
The city initially hoped to install a new Lakewalk bridge across the river just south of the existing railroad trestle, but the design was rejected by members of the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Rail Authority, who feared it could interfere with future maintenance work.
An alternate design calls for a slightly longer Lakewalk bridge to be installed on the north side of the railroad trestle, upstream from a utility overpass and just below the Lester River Condominiums development.
Despite overruns, the city’s share of the total bill for the Lakewalk extension remains relatively modest. Duluth will pick up about one-third of the tab for the $2.52 million project, if the council approves the increased bond funding on Monday.
The first phase of the Cross-City Trail will run from Sister City Park (next door to Endion Station) to 30th Avenue West. This segment of the trail is expected to cost about $2.2 million to construct, with the city footing about 40 percent of the bill, should the council approve the project Monday.
If ultimately completed, the Cross-City Trail will link the Munger Trail to the Lakewalk.