Robert Street tunnel on the River-to-River Greenway in West St. Paul

River-to-River Greenway Tunnel Opens & What’s Next

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, October 7 will officially open the Robert Street tunnel for the River-to-River Greenway Trail through West St. Paul. This safe crossing has been in the works for nearly a decade and marks a major leap forward for the trail.

We’re also celebrating with the West St. Paul Rider community bike ride on September 26.

While the tunnel is finished, the trail improvements will continue with several more projects over the next several years.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Local elected officials, city staff, and supporters will gather at the tunnel on Thursday, October 7 at 10:30 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Park at Wentworth Library and follow the signs directing people along the trail to the ceremony. Confirmed guests include State Representative Rick Hansen and Dakota County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord.

Trail Improvements

Here’s a rundown of the ongoing and future projects to improve the River-to-River Greenway Trail.

Wentworth Crossing

After an initial study to improve the trail crossing at Wentworth and Humboldt, Dakota County implemented a temporary pedestrian island to increase safety. They’re doing a second survey based on the temporary improvements.

The temporary pedestrian island will be removed for winter. It could be made permanent, depending on the survey results. If permanent changes are made, they could happen in 2022 or 2023, depending on funding. Learn more about Dakota County’s pedestrian crossing safety assessment.

Thompson Oaks Watershed

Aerial view of the pond at Thompson Oaks looking northeast.

There are plans for a wetland restoration project through the former Thompson Oaks golf course. This will route the trail north of the library and exit near the Thompson and Oakdale intersection. There will likely be a boardwalk, stream, and series of cascades. Final plans should be shared publicly soon, and construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

Oakdale Trail

Oakdale trail in West St. Paul
Trail along Oakdale between Wentworth and Thompson.

The trail running along Oakdale is narrow and old, but there are plans for a major improvement. West St. Paul will be adding new trail on Oakdale from Wentworth to Butler, including the segment that heads east to Thompson Park. There are also plans to add a roundabout to Thompson and Oakdale and sidewalk and trail to Thompson Avenue.

Construction isn’t expected to begin until 2023.

There’s an open house for this project at the Thompson Park Activity Center on Tuesday, October 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Thompson Park Trail

As part of the Thompson Park improvements, the southern bike trails at Thompson Park will be closed from September 21 to October 6 while they are repaved.

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