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Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area
St. Paul's ambitious plan to remake its 17-mile long river corridor is moving into the final phase of the public review process, and will be the subject of a public hearing at the St. Paul Planning Commission Meeting, September 21, 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, room 40. Building upon the city's past efforts to make the river corridor "more natural, more urban and more connected," the most recent draft of the Great River Passage Master Plan is available online at www.GreatRiverPassage.org.
The 50-year vision for the future of the river corridor envisions major changes and improvements. New recreation-based gathering centers will be built in Crosby Park and at a reused Island Station power plant. New trail access will be provided into Pig's Eye Regional Park and Crosby Park east of I-35E. A new river balcony will grace the bluffs along downtown, and new private development will dot key locations throughout the corridor. A redesigned Shepard Road will slow traffic, and new biking and walking connections will provide easier river access for people in surrounding neighborhoods.
Earlier this year Saint Paul Parks and Recreation staff met with district councils representing neighborhoods along the corridor, held a public hearing before the city's parks commission, gathered public comments on the draft plan, and recommended several changes based on public input. In late May, the Parks Commission settled on plan changes, recommended approval and sent it the Planning Commission to review. After that, it's on to the St. Paul Planning City Council and, finally, the Metropolitan Council will hear and adopt the plan in early 2013.
FMR has participated and commented extensively in the process to develop the Great River Passage. Questions about the plan can be directed to FMR River Planner Bob Spaulding at 651-222-2193 x29.