The Dakota Rail Regional Trail is a 28-mile regional trail extending from Wayzata to the McLeod County Line, west of New Germany. SRF worked with Three Rivers Park District and Carver County to prepare master plans and provided subsequent design and construction administration services.
Obtaining input from the public in the development of the various trail segments was an important aspect of SRF’s work. Through numerous public open houses, resident surveys, and meetings with the affected communities, we learned that there was generally strong community support for the trail. SRF worked closely with our clients to determine the best methods for resolving the issues. In the case of the Three Rivers Park District segment, it was the creation of a Design Development task force made up of representatives of all the affected communities.
For the Carver County segment it was focused discussions with various user groups. The measure of a successful process is often illustrated by the number of stakeholders, who, while initially opposed to the project, are among the first to commend the project on its success.
Highlights of the constructed Dakota Rail Trail include:
- Numerous at-grade trail crossings
- Four bridge rehabilitation projects with custom railings
- Five new trail bridges
- Trailhead development and system-wide signage
- Stormwater management
- Trail rest areas
Reuse of existing railroad ballast material for trail base resulted in construction cost savings and improved construction efficiency.
The completed trail has been extremely well received by users and the adjacent communities. Trail use is three times the number of visitors projected in the master plan process.