Multi-use trail connections to I-35W Bridge Crossing

Burnsville awarded federal grant to raise trail

In 2020, the City of Burnsville applied for a federal grant to raise a portion of the I-35W Frontage Trail to a minimum elevation of 702 feet. Looking at historic flooding data, we can estimate that by raising the trail to 702 feet, this section of trail will, on average, flood between three and six days each year.

Public Comment on De Minimis Finding

Notice of availability and comment period for the I-35W Frontage Trail Realignment Project and Section 4(f) de minimis preliminary determination

This is your opportunity to comment on the I-35W Frontage Trail Realignment Project Section 4(f) de minimis preliminary determination as part of the project’s environmental review process. Comments must be submitted on or before Friday, June 17, 2022.

In accordance with Section 6009 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Public Law 109-59, enacted August 10, 2005, the City of Burnsville is soliciting comments on the effects this project would have on the City of Burnsville Recreational Trail (the “I-35W Frontage Trail”).  The project will impact use of the multi-use trail for up to four weeks while it is closed for construction. After construction, once the trail is relocated, the trail will be fully functional for multi-use trail purposes.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has made a preliminary determination that the proposed action affecting an approximate 950-foot segment of the I-35W Frontage Trail within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Black Dog Preserve is a Section 4(f) de minimis action in accordance with Section 6009(a) of SAFETEA-LU, conditioned on public review and comment. A de minimis finding may be made when uses of Section 4(f) land will have no adverse effect on the protected resources.

Information on this impact and avoidance, minimization, mitigation, or enhancement measures is described in the following document:

Section 4(f) de minimis report

Comments must be submitted on or before Tuesday June 21, 2022 to Jen Desrude, City Engineer, Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway, Burnsville, MN 55337 or Comments will become part of the official record and will be considered when making future project related decisions.

Comment Form available here

Project Description:22-502 Project Area Map

The project will realign a segment of the I-35W Frontage Trail, which connects to the Minnesota River Greenway, adjacent to Black Dog Road. The improvements include raising the trail from the current elevation, which lowers the frequency and magnitude of trail closures due to flooding.

Alternatives for raising the trail were evaluated and documented in a Feasibility Study (March 2020). The City has determined the preferred alternative is to construct a conventional earth embankment with a trail width of 10 feet and 2 foot shoulders on either side. This alternative provides the City with the lowest cost/highest benefit solution when compared to other alternatives.

Project Benefits:

  • When MnDOT reconstructed the I-35W bridge over the Minnesota River, a new pedestrian/bicycle facility was included that links to reginal trails on both sides of the river. Prior to making this critical connection between Burnsville and22-502 Flooding event with bicycle Bloomington, a pedestrian and bicycle facility along I-35W never existed.
  • Flooding often occurs during the spring months (March - May) and can take several weeks to subside. During those times, this segment acts as a pedestrian and bicycle barrier rather than a regional amenity. Pedestrian and bicycle investments to the I-35W bridge may not be fully realized if the flooding issues are not addressed along this trail segment. This project will limit closure due to river flooding from many weeks down to 3 -6 days per year.
  • The I-35W Frontage Trail is heavily relied on by bicycle commuters and will become a more prominent commuting route between Burnsville and Bloomington now that the I-35W bridge is open.

Tentative Project Schedule

Design: August 2021 – Winter 2022

Construction: Spring 2022 (dependent on river conditions)


Please contact Burnsville City Engineer, Jen Desrude if you have questions regarding the project.