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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Students helping with plan for new Mankato-St. Peter bike trail

Helping to plan for Mankato-St. Peter riverside bike path.

By Mark Fischenich, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 6/2/2009]

Area lawmakers are considering seeking $400,000 in state funds to do preliminary studies of a biking and walking trail between Mankato and St. Peter along the Minnesota River.

The idea of a trail connecting the two cities — and connecting St. Peter to the extensive trail system in the Mankato area — has been discussed for years. But cities and counties involved are now looking at officially supporting the idea, and the North Mankato City Council signed on Monday night.

The paved trail would be a piece of a long-term state plan to build a trail along the length of the Minnesota River valley, and portions of the route are being developed closer to the Twin Cities.

Various route ideas have been suggested on both sides of the river, including one that would include the Le Sueur County town of Kasota. A more extensive design was completed in 2008 by a group of Minnesota State University engineering students as part of a year-long civil engineering course.

That group of 14 students designed a 10.3-mile that ran along the west side of the river from Kiwanis Park on Mankato’s north side to St. Peter’s Riverside Park. The students estimated the cost of that route, which used Highway 169 right-of-way to reduce the expense, at $2.3 million.

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