Dakota County has improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists with the new Robert Street Underpass along the River to River Greenway in West St. Paul.
The tunnel runs beneath Robert Street at Crawford Drive, north of Wentworth Avenue. It provides safer access to retail businesses and restaurants, the Wentworth Library, city and county parks, and schools. The underpass is also an important connector along the nearly 8-mile greenway from Lilydale to South St. Paul.
“We wanted to provide a safe way to cross Robert Street, but we wanted also to recognize the connections that were a part of what we were doing," Dakota County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord said during a ribbon-cutting Thursday, Oct. 7. “It's an underpass and a trail that will take you from the west side and the Minnesota River over to the east side and the Mississippi River."
West St. Paul Mayor Dave Napier said the underpass connects people to parks and trails. Now, residents on the west side of Robert Street can go to Thompson County Park, and those living on the east side can get to Marthaler Park.
“I want the community to know, come out and enjoy this," Napier said. “It's a beautiful amenity for our city."
Napier and Gaylord credited the many city and council officials and residents who were committed to the project over the past two decades. They also thanked legislators who secured funding.
The $4.6 million project included $2.4 million in state bonding funds and $650,000 in federal grants. The county contributed $1.8 million.
The project also includes a new greenway segment from Livingston Avenue west of Robert Street to the Wentworth Library.
For more information, visit the Robert Street Underpass project page.