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State leaders tour Shakopee as part of bonding bill

Updated: 11/01/2019
Men sit at tables listening to PowerPoint presentation

Earlier this month, state Senate and House of Representatives bonding committee members stopped in Shakopee as part of a statewide tour to learn about the capital improvement projects requesting funding in the 2020 state bonding bill.

The City of Shakopee has applied for two projects: a US 169 pedestrian overpass and riverfront stabilization. The state could potentially provide up to 50 percent of the funding for the projects. State bonding requests are for infrastructure that is not typically paid for by other state and federal programs.

US 169 Pedestrian Overpass

The city submitted a request for $2.4 million toward the construction cost of a pedestrian/bike bridge over Highway 169 from Southbridge to Quarry Lake. This trail has been in the city’s plans for many years and was recently acknowledged as a regional link by the Metropolitan Council. It’s a necessary connection, as there are no access points in this area for bikes or pedestrians. In fact, there’s a 3.25-mile gap between County Highway 83 and Stagecoach Road, where safety is a concern due to the lack of trail and the road crosses the main switching yard for the railroad.

Riverbank Stabilization

The city’s other request is $11.73 million toward riverbank stabilization along the Minnesota River. The river bank has been eroding for many years, eroding almost 100 feet during the last 40 years. Without stabilization of the bank, an additional 50 feet will erode into the river, sending hundreds of thousands of yards of silt downstream and potentially eroding the city’s main trunk sanitary sewer line (endangering the entire sanitary sewer system) and the regional trail and the park system. 

Also, the city’s adopted Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan includes creating a cultural trail along the Minnesota River from the historic Holmes Street Bridge to The Landing. The trail celebrates the Native American culture and history along with the original European settlers.

The consultant proposed lowering the existing riverbank and created a variety of ways to protect the shoreline from erosion including concrete break ways, riprap and concrete steps along with removal of existing scrub trees and vegetation. By creating a more natural edge to the river and allowing the river to naturally climb the river bank, erosion will be limited while allowing better access to the river in non-flood times.

While visiting Shakopee, the bonding committee members had an opportunity to see both projects firsthand and learn more about the benefits of these regional investments. The committees will make recommendations to their respective bodies for bonds that may be issued in mid-2020.

Learn more about both projects in our 2020 Bonding Bill Tour Handout [PDF].