Midtown Greenway Coalition releases new study on Short Line Bridge
FMR is a member of the Extend the Greenway Partnership, which raised funds for a study on the Short Line Bridge, pictured above. Photo by Hannah Jones for Midtown Greenway Coalition.
Earlier this month, the Midtown Greenway Coalition released the findings of a study that investigated the feasibility of extending the popular bike trail over the Short Line Bridge. This is an existing rail bridge, currently owned by Canadian Pacific Railway, though it is only used by one train about once per day. If the bridge is used for a biking and pedestrian trail, it would connect the Greenway from Minneapolis to existing trails in St. Paul.
A previous study in 2008 explored the possibility of building a new bridge at this site for the same purpose. FMR opposed this plan, as the construction of a new bridge could have serious, damaging consequences for the surrounding ecosystems in the river gorge.
The 2019 study focuses on using the existing bridge, rather than a building a new one. Of the four options presented, FMR is supportive of the first three: using the existing bridge as it is or building a new bridge deck on top of the existing piers. We have reservations about the fourth option, which includes building an extension on top of the existing bridge. This option is concerning because of the possible scenic impacts on the river gorge.
We look forward to being a part of the continuing conversation about the use of this bridge.