Washington County is requesting $1.5 million in state funding to design and construct a grade-separated trail crossing at Manning Avenue as part of the Brown’s Creek State Trail.
The development of Minnesota’s newest state trail—that will connect the Gateway to downtown Stillwater—began last fall when contractors removed railroad tracks from the former Minnesota Zephyr dinner train line.
This spring crews plan to pave the portion of the trail from downtown Stillwater to Brown’s Creek Park and Nature Preserve at Neal Avenue, construction a new bridge over Brown’s Creek at Oak Glen Golf Course and rehabilitate an existing bridge over state Highway 95.
But further development of the trail, including a proposed $1.5 million crossing at Manning Avenue between Stillwater Township and Grant, will depend on the availability of funding.
Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) plans to author a bill seeking state funding for the Brown's Creek Trail crossing at Manning Avenue. On Thursday, Dettmer, along with other local lawmakers, will visit the site and talk with county officials about the issue facing the crossing.
The Issue: The Brown’s Creek Trail will connect the Gateway Trail—the state’s most heavily used recreational trail—to downtown Stillwater. Meanwhile, officials say 10,000 cars travel on Manning Avenue each day, so separating the trail and the road is a high priority for the county.
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The DNR, the city of Stillwater and the city of Grant support the proposal. Support is also expected from active trail user groups such as the Parks and Trails Council and the Gateway Trail Association.
If no action is taken to fund the $1.5 million proposal, a grade-separated crossing at Manning Avenue will not occur, or will be delayed.