The first step in development of Minnesota’s newest state trail begins in September when contractors remove railroad tracks from the Brown’s Creek Trail between the cities of Stillwater and Grant in Washington County.
The rails and ties from the former Minnesota Zephyr dinner train will be recycled. In a different approach to the competitive bid process, the contractor will perform the track removal work and pay the DNR for the value of the salvage. These proceeds will help offset future trail development costs.
Motorists could experience a few short-term road closures or detours as the work proceeds. Track removal is anticipated to be finished by Nov. 30. The public is asked to remain off the trail corridor during the track removal and salvage process and exercise extreme caution at all intersections and crossings.
The next phase of trail development, slated for 2013, entails paving the portion of the trail from downtown Stillwater to the Brown’s Creek Park and Nature Preserve at Neal Avenue. It also includes construction of a new bridge over Brown’s Creek at the Oak Glen Golf Course and rehabilitation of an existing bridge over Minnesota Highway 95. Further development of the trail, including a proposed bridge over Manning Avenue, depends on funding availability.
The public is asked to remain off the trail corridor during all phases of trail development for safety reasons. The DNR will not maintain the trail for use during this construction period.
Purchase of the Brown’s Creek State Trail corridor was completed in February, with money from the Environmental Trust Fund (state lottery proceeds), the Legacy Amendment (a dedicated sales tax), Washington County and the Gateway-Brown’s Creek Trail Association.
When completed, a projected 75,000 outdoor enthusiasts will be use the trail annually.