Construction work on the Minnesota River Bluffs Light Rail Transit (LRT) Regional Trail between Pioneer Trail and Flying Cloud Drive in Chanhassen is underway. The trail is expected to reopen at the end of October, 2020.
“If a change order gets executed it may get pushed beyond October,” said Kristine Stehly the project engineer at Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) which is administering the engineering and construction of the project.
The trail has been closed since 2014 due to heavy rains which resulted in a destabilization of the railroad embankment supporting the trail. Stehly stated the total cost of the project provided by US SiteWork, Elk River, MN at $1.41m was also the low bid. HCRRA also authorized a 5% contingency increase to that number for reconstruction work due to the landslide, said Stehly.
Twenty thousands cubic yards will be excavated as part of the project. This is the equivalent of approximately 2,000 standard dump trucks. The project work is staged out of the nearby Moon Valley gravel pits.
According to Stehly, a 24-inch water pipe is being drilled this week to redirect water. The pipe is directionally drilled parallel to the trail corridor, noted Stehly. A smaller pipe on the north slope is being abandoned because the slope was eroding and that pipe was failing.
Previously the railroad embankment in the project area contained a bench that overlooked the valley facing south. This is not being replaced in the new project, said Stehly.
Trail Section Will Be Lowered 20 Feet
The trail section in the area of the repair will be lowered by over 20 feet, said Stehly. The railroad embankment was previously quite steep, noted Stehly. Following the initial damage in 2014, significant erosion continued on the railroad embankment. The new trail elevation will meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for incline on bike trails, according to Stehly.