Indian Mounds Regional Park Trail Reconstruction

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Overview

The City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation has received Metropolitan Council Legacy (Parks and Trails) and Federal Aid Funding (Transportation Alternative Program) funding to remove and reconstruct the bituminous multi-use trail throughout the park.  The trail is located at Indian Mounds Regional Park adjacent to Mounds Blvd and Burns Aves between Commercial/Plum Street and US Hwy. 61. Before proceeding with design and construction, the Department is committed to collaborating with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) and the local community to instill an understanding of the sacred lands, and to establish a respectful and responsive preservation agenda. 

Indian Mounds Regional Park is a 111 acre park within the Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood of Saint Paul. Located on top of the bluffs of the Mississippi River on the eastern side of downtown St. Paul, the park consists of river bluff, steep slopes, rolling hills, woodlands, and grassland.  It is rich in history and is the site of Indian burial mounds.  The approved 2011 Master Plan for Indian Mounds Regional Park identifies the need for trail improvements due to deteriorating trail conditions.  To reduce the amount of disturbance on sacred lands, the trail alignment will follow the existing alignment and removals will be limited to the bituminous pavement while leaving the aggregate base in place.  The Parks and Recreation Department will also remove and restore the trail system surrounding the existing burial mounds.

Federal Aid Project # 164-090-015

    Project Updates

    May 26, 2020: Below is an updated Indian Mounds Regional Park Trail Reconstruction project and road closure schedule. We anticipate completion of Phase 1 on or before June 5th (pending weather). Upon completion, the contractor will begin removing the eastbound road closure and temporary fencing between Plum St and Bates Ave. All Phase 1 turfed areas will begin reopening for general use. Phase 2 road closures and turfed areas between Bates Ave and Thorn Ave will remain closed until completion for safety and to continue social distancing while providing important recreational opportunities.

    Trails & turfed area will be closed during the following construction phases:

    • April 22 - May 22 June 5: Phase 1 (Plum to Bates)
    • May 5 - June 12: Phase 2 (Bates to Burns)
    • May 19 - July 12: Phase 3 (Burns to Hwy 61)

    Mounds Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic but open to pedestrians during these times:

    • April 22 - May 22 June 5: Plum Street to Bates Avenue – Eastbound lane will be closed. One-way westbound vehicle traffic only.
    • April 22 - June 12: Bates Avenue to Thorn – Full road closure to all vehicle traffic. 
    • April 22 - June 12: Thorn to Burns Avenue – Eastbound lane will be closed. One-way westbound vehicle traffic only. 

    April 20, 2020: St Paul Parks and Recreation has awarded the trail reconstruction project to Bituminous Roadways, Inc. in Mendota Heights. Temporary fencing, erosion control, and vegetation removals have been completed. The trail project will be developed in three consecutive phases beginning with Phase 1 from Plum Street to Bates Ave. All trails and green spaces (lawns) will be closed during each individual phase for safety and reopened upon completion of the phase. In the meantime, sections of temporary fence have been removed to provide access to green space until the corresponding phase begins. As part of the trail closure, we will be closing portions of Mounds Boulevard to vehicle traffic and while opening it up to pedestrians to allow for important recreational opportunities and for social distancing. The partial or full road closures will be reopened upon completion of the phase. 

    April 16, 2020:  Bituminous Roadways will begin installing erosion control, temporary fencing, and tree protection beginning today and tomorrow. Trail removals are expected to begin as early as next week pending approval of pedestrian and traffic control plans with the city. Construction activities are anticipated to occur over the next 3 months and completed before September (pending weather). A detailed schedule and pedestrian detour plans will be posted in the upcoming days.

    March 19, 2020:  Parks and Recreation has awarded the trail reconstruction project to Bituminous Roadways, Inc. in Mendota Heights. Brush and tree removals are scheduled for Monday March 23 and are expected to be completed in one business day. The removals are necessary to reconstruct the trail and to open views along the bluff. The removals will generally consist of invasive species and unhealthy trees and it will be kept to a minimum. The trail may be shut down temporarily for a few hours between English St. and Clarence St., but reopened at the end of the day. See Tree and Brush Removal Plan for approximate locations. The trail reconstruction is anticipated to begin around May 2020. Construction activities are expected to occur for no more than 90 days and to be completed before September 2020. We will follow-up in the coming weeks with future pedestrian detours and notifications.

    November 12, 2019:  The City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department is moving forward with the proposed trail alignment for Indian Mounds Regional Park. This includes removal of the bluff trail for safety, long-term maintenance, and preservation of burial sites. As suggested during the community engagement process, we’ve including the following plan refinements:

    1. Include a center stripe to delineate travel lanes on steep trail sections between the airway beacon and Wilshire Place.
    2. Replace park benches. Existing bench locations and concrete pads to remain to reduce park disturbance.
    3. Enhance views along bluff in 3 locations. See Trail Alignment Enlargements (2019-05-31)

    The next steps are to complete construction documents and bid the project this fall. Pending bids, we anticipate awarding the project in 2020, tree removals occurring winter/spring 2020, and trail reconstruction occurring summer 2020. Once bids are received and a contractor is hired, we will have a better understanding of the construction schedule. Finally, we are still waiting for completion of the cemetery delineation by the state. As we wait for this process, we don’t anticipate any changes to the proposed trail alignment as a result of the delineation. As a reminder, there is a Community Information Session on Thursday Nov 21st from 4:30-6:30pm at Marian Center of Saint Paul for an individual question and answer period.

    June 21, 2019:  The public comment period has been extended to July 12th. Please see above for public meeting #4 notes and presentation. Please email Brett Hussong with any additions or corrections to the meeting notes by July 5th. The community can anticipate the next meeting to occur in July 2019.

    May 20, 2019:  The 30-day comment period (ending June 13th) for the Section 4(f) De minimus review has begun. Please review the De minimus public notice and findings above and respond to Brett.Hussong@ci.stpaul.mn.us with any comments. 

    December 12, 2018:  The comment period for the draft trail alignment has been extended to December 31, 2018. Please feel free to forward throughout the community, and respond to Brett.Hussong@ci.stpaul.mn.us with any comments. 

    November 9, 2018:  The draft trail alignment has been posted above. Please feel free to forward throughout the community, and respond to Brett.Hussong@ci.stpaul.mn.us with any comments. 

    October 17, 2018:  Archaeo-Physics, LLC is currently conducting the non-invasive geophysical study. The results and preliminary trail alignment will be presented during the second public meeting.

    September 14, 2018:  Archaeo-Physics, LLC has been hired to conduct a non-invasive geophysical ground survey. The results will be available in October 2018. Also, HR Green, Inc. from St. Paul has been hired to provide professional engineering services for the trail design.

    March 8, 2018:  We would like to invite you to a kickoff meeting on May 21, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106.  Please join us to discuss the project approach, to set expectations going forward, and to review the proposed trail reconstruction alignment. Both projects will be refined according to a cultural inventory and analysis, and during the public involvement process.

    Meetings

    Community Information Session:  Thursday Nov 21, 2019 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 4:30 - 6:30 PM. Join us at your convenience for an individual question and answer session about the current Trail Reconstruction and Cultural Landscape Study (CLS) Projects. This is an opportunity to ask questions about the cemetery designation, CLS document, trail reconstruction, decision making process, and project schedules, as we wait for the cemetery delineation results.

    Meeting 5 (Community Listening Session):  Monday July 22, 2019 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 5:30 - 7:30 PM

    Meeting 4:  Thursday, June 13, 2019 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 5:30 - 6:30 PM

    Meeting 3:  Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 6:00 - 7:00 PM

    Meeting 2:  Thursday, Nov 1, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 5:30 - 7:00 PM

    *Cultural Landscape Study:  Thursday, Nov 8, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 5:30 - 7:00 PM
    (* trail alignment was presented at the Cultural Landscape Study meeting which is a separate project associated with Indian Mounds Regional Park that is occurring simultaneously.)

    Meeting 1:  Monday, May 21, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul from 5:30 - 7:00 PM