Consultant team to evaluate possibility of extending Midtown Greenway into St. Paul

Push to extend the Midtown Greenway

There’s a push to extend a popular Minneapolis trail into St. Paul.

The Midtown Greenway runs for about 5 miles through Minneapolis and now the Metropolitan Council says it’s bringing in a team later this year to evaluate what it would take to extend it over the Mississippi River.

“I think it’s great. I think more access between the two cities is a major part of the whole cycling community. They kind of feel a little separated right now,” said Jordan Wik, who lives in St. Paul.

“What’s stopping us? Let’s make it happen,” said Soren Jensen, executive director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition.

Jensen says that he’s worked to extend this trail to the capital city for years.

“Instead of having people exit the Greenway, they could keep going on this railroad bridge,” he said.

The Short Line Bridge over the Mississippi River is the key factor.

“What would it take to make this bridge safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?” Jensen said. “If we could get this bridge taken care of, that’s the biggest challenge.”

The Met Council says later this year a consultant team is going to evaluate the possibility of extending the Greenway all the way to Allianz Field. As for funding, a spokesperson says it’s too early to pinpoint the exact sources, but for projects like this, it typically comes from a mix of federal, state and local dollars.

“It’s very exciting because we’ll end up with an official study,” Jensen said.

Jensen highlighted the economic development opportunities for St. Paul among the many reasons why he feels this is a no-brainer.

“It would get more people biking, and that’s what we’re looking for. People want to bike on safe, protected trails that are separate from traffic and that’s what this would do,” Jensen said.

The Met Council says this study is expected to take about a year to complete and the findings should be wrapped up by the end of next year.