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Legislature asked to fund study of bike path between Mankato and St. Peter

Three counties and three cities all envision a bike path between Mankato and St. Peter, reports the Mankato Free Press.

Three counties and three cities all envision a bike path between Mankato and St. Peter, reports the Mankato Free Press. They’re asking the Legislature to fund a $400,000 study of the path in the 2010 state bonding bill.

County boards in Le Sueur, Nicollet and Blue Earth counties, along with the city councils of Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter, all gave support to the plan before a June 30 deadline, and Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, and Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, are expected to push for the funding in the next legislative session.

If the study is approved, the trail is expected to cost several million dollars to construct when right-of-way acquisition and wetland mitigation expenses are included.

The exact route for the path hasn’t been established.

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The newspaper says some favor connecting the trail to the Kasota Prairie nature area. Most want it to connect to Seven Mile Creek County Park midway between Mankato and St. Peter. Most envision the trail linking to the Mankato trail system at the Kiwanis Park on the city’s far north side, and to an existing St. Peter trail in Riverside Park on that city’s south end.

The proposed trail’s chances are enhanced by a previous state law that established the Minnesota River Trail — a long-range plan to build a trail the length of the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling State Park at its mouth to Big Stone Lake Park near its source.