Biker path

Construction on the Highway 169 pedestrian bridge project is expected to begin in March and should be completed by the fall. The bridge will connect to the Minnesota Valley State Trail.

The Shakopee City Council approved project plans at its Dec. 20 meeting for a pedestrian bridge over Highway 169.

Councilors approved plans and specifications for the project and also ordered advertisements for bids.

The pedestrian bridge will connect an existing trail north of Dean Lake to Quarry Lake Park and part of the Minnesota Valley State Trail near Highway 101. Documents state that the project will consist of constructing a 750-foot pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the highway, approximately 1,350 feet of trail to connect on the south side and approximately 1,200 feet of trail to connect on the north side.

There is currently not a crossing of Highway 169 between County Highway 83 and Stagecoach Road, a nearly five-mile gap by bicycle.

“Safe connections across the highway are needed to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle transportation to and from recreational, residential, commercial, institutional and industrial areas,” project documents stated.

According to the resolution, project plans include constructing the pedestrian bridge overpass, retaining walls, bituminous trail, trail lighting, storm sewer and “appurtenance work.”

This project has been years in the making. According to the city’s website, Shakopee received $2 million in state bonding funds in 2020 for the initiative.

In February 2021, the city council established a professional services agreement with WSB and Associates to work on design, construction, inspection and administration services for the bridge project.

Almost a year later, in January 2022, the council received updated aesthetic plans for the bridge and the Minnesota Department of Transportation-approved bridge layout. These plans included adding LED lighting on railings and a sign above the highway displaying the city’s emblem.

Funding for the project will be partially supported by state bonding funds. The remainder of the project, nearly $3 million, is to be entirely covered by the city’s Park Development Fund.

The city will now advertise for bids for the project, with a bid award scheduled for Feb. 7.

Construction on the bridge project is expected to begin in March, according to a city memo from city engineer Steve Lillehaug, and should be completed by fall of this year.