Plans to improve a section of Duck Lake Road near Prairie View Elementary School have changed to include a 235-foot-long bridge over Duck Lake.
The change raises the project’s cost to $4.7 million, and is necessary because Eden Prairie city officials have learned that simply widening and improving the current road – which crosses the lake on an earthen berm that has existed for decades – won’t get the required environmental permits.
The city has been looking to improve Duck Lake Road between Pavelka Way and Duck Lake Trail for years. Public Works Director Robert Ellis called it “probably one of our worst-rated roads from a pavement condition standpoint.”
Ellis told the Eden Prairie City Council on Feb. 16 that it became clear the original plan to enlarge the earthen berm, approved by the city in September 2018, wasn’t going to be meet today’s regulations. The bridge became, he said, “quite frankly the only alternative that will make it through the environmental permitting process.” To build the project, the city needs permits from the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In adding the bridge, the city has also decided to add a sidewalk so that the project now has a sidewalk on one side and bike trail on the other. Before, plans called for a trail on one side of the road. A small section of the bridge will jut out on the eastern side, providing a fishing pier. The road, however, will remain one lane in each direction.
Although the project’s cost is increasing, the watershed district is now providing up to $1.175 million of the total.
That contribution recognizes the environmental benefits the bridge will provide: reconnect two portions of the lake; restore the lake bed as it once existed; reduce lake pollution; and increase the lake’s flood-storage capacity.
The Eden Prairie City Council approved the updated road plan Feb. 16. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be complete by late 2022.