Smithtown Trail in Shorewood set to break ground in summer

The Smithtown Trail segment in Shorewood will be hosting walkers and bicyclists by fall.

Shorewood City Council recently approved a resolution to make offers for acquiring additional property along the route. Planning Director Brad Nielsen says the number of easements needed by residents has dropped from around 15 to eight, which is a plus.

“We found either through prescriptive right that the city already has [access], which makes it easier and hopefully cheaper.”

One engineering improvement to help alleviate the number of easements included sensitive drainage issues. The council at the March 25 meeting will vote on the approval of plans and specifications and advertisement of bids.

The city council heard an update in timeframes for the construction and completion of the trail that starts at the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail at Eureka Road and runs to Minnewashta Elementary School.

A council goal is to have construction completed if possible before the school year begins in the fall. Nielsen says if that were not the case because of easement acquisition or construction delays forced construction into the school year, work wouldn’t be conducted during the “rush hours” of the school day.

Nielsen says March 13 a neighborhood meeting will be held for residents to ask questions and see specific plans pertaining to the trails. This meeting will most likely be held at Minnewashta Elementary School.

The second neighborhood meeting May 21 will include what residents can expect and whom they can contact to obtain more information or if there are problems with the construction.

Council member Laura Hotvet encouraged everyone to tune in.

“I like that involvement of the public,” Hotvet said. “The more we do of that the better.”

Residents will also have an opportunity to weigh in on landscaping options such as what trees will be planted after construction is complete.

“It will be good to show them [the residents] options and get some dialogue going,” said Mayor Scott Zerby.

City staff also added two “celebratory” events, which will include a ground-breaking June 10 just before construction and a ribbon-cutting after the completion of construction in late October or early November.

Contact Chris Dillmann at [email protected]