Light rail construction to close Minneapolis bike paths

As construction of the Southwest light-rail corridor moves forward, popular bike paths in Minneapolis and its western suburbs will close for up to three years beginning in May.

The popular Cedar Lake and Kenilworth trails connect downtown Minneapolis to the Greenway, St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Edina. They will close as soon as May 13, according to the “Star Tribune.”

The Cedar Lake Trail runs 3.5 miles and connects North 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park. The Kenilworth Trail, which runs between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake, is the busiest bike path in the city and is used heavily by commuters.

The city plans to remover over a thousand trees to complete the $2 billion light-rail project – Minnesota’s largest-ever infrastructure undertaking – upsetting some residents in the Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles neighborhoods.

The construction has also closed long-time downtown Minneapolis watering hole Lee’s Liquor Lounge. The planned construction will overtake the street in front of Lee’s and tear up the bar’s parking lot, affecting its customer base, owner Craig Kruckelberg said.

The are Twin Cities consistently ranked as some of the country’s most bike-friendly cities. Minneapolis has made pedestrian rights of way and bike lanes a priority in all new road construction, and Hennepin County boasts 83 miles of off-street trails and 44 miles of bike lanes. The Nice Ride public bicycle program encourages city-wide bike commuting as well.

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