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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Civil Engineering students design plan for bicycle trail connecting St. Peter, Mankato

Plan could become reality soon

Fourteen students in James Wilde's Civil Engineering class have designed a bicycle trail that would connect St. Peter and Mankato.

By Mark Fischenich, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 5/13/2008]

Photo by John Crosss
Janet Fofie
Krista Wassenaar and other seniors in MSU's civil engineering program recently completed a yearlong effort to design a bike trail along the Minnesota River from Mankato to St. Peter, a trail that may be constructed in coming years. Associate professor James Wilde (right) is the instructor for the senior civil engineering design course.

It's been nothing more than a pleasant vision for St. Peter bikers for a few years: a paved bike trail running through the scenic Minnesota River valley to Mankato, where they could connect to the Red Jacket or Sakatah Singing Hills trails.

The concept would probably be agreeable to Mankato bikers, too: being able to get on the existing trail system that spreads throughout the city and ride to Nicollet County's popular Seven Mile Creek County Park or on to St. Peter.

For the 14 seniors in associate professor James Wilde's Civil Engineering Design class, it was more than a daydream. It was a yearlong task to methodically and scientifically determine the feasibility of turning the vision into a reality. The job tested much of what they had learned during their years in Minnesota State University's Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering.

"I think it's got real potential," said Mankato City Engineer Ken Saffert, who expects to see grant applications or requests to the Legislature for funding for the trail. "... I don't know if it'll be this coming year, but somewhere down the line — absolutely."

For complete story, see the Tuesday, May 13 print edition of The Free Press or sign onto the e-edition at

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