ST. PAUL – Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) introduced bipartisan legislation last week necessary to bring the completion of the Lake Links Trail closer to reality.
Sen. Wiger is chief author of SF 824 and co-author on SF 818, which would fund more than $4 million worth of construction on the multiuse trail. The legislation is being authored by Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL-Maplewood) and Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township) in the House.
“Completing this trail has been a priority for me at the Capitol and is only possible thanks to the strong work of local partners like the Lake Links Association in advocating for its need,” said Sen. Wiger. “I also want to thank Sen. Roger Chamberlain for joining me in supporting new funding for this important trail. This trail will provide recreational opportunities for thousands of residents for many years to come.”
SF 824 and SF 818 will complete one segment of the trail around White Bear Lake (see accompanying map). The total appropriation for the two pieces of legislation totals $4,080,000.
“Finishing the Lake Links Trail will mean safer mobility and connectivity for people of all ages and abilities, and will do wonders for our region,” said Steve Wolgamot, Washington County Chair of the Lake Links Association. “We’ve been discussing this trail since 2001 and want to thank Sen. Wiger for being a leader in prioritizing this legislation at the Capitol. Once completed, we know that the Lake Links Trail will be a jewel in our community for accessible and safe walking and biking.”
“The Lake Links Trail will be a thoroughfare for walkers, bikers and other pedestrians who are looking to travel throughout the lakeside communities and two counties around White Bear Lake,” added Michael Brooks, association co-chair. “This funding will go a long way in securing the final necessary pieces to completing this trail and brings us a major step closer to the finish line.”
Advocates like the Lake Links Association anticipate construction will conclude by the end of 2021 but will largely depend on how quickly the engineering is completed. The Lake Links Trail Network Master Plan was approved by the Legislature in 2000. When the plan is completed, its segments will connect eight communities within two counties and link the Greater White Bear Lake Area to the Gateway and Brown’s Creek state trails.
From press release