This post is for any Minneapolis bicyclers who may be curious about the Luce
Line Trail coming into our town some day. There has been much progress, and
also much disappointment in this effort. The Minneapolis section of the Luce
Line, commonly called the Bassett Creek Trail, is being built as we speak -
in fact, much is already paved from the Cedar Lake Trail near the Walker out
to Wirth Parkway at Hwy-55. In the City of Plymouth, the trail is also about
95% completed coming in towards Minneapolis from the west. From Plymouth one
can bike west for about 40 miles -  all the way into the Cosmos (the small
town of Cosmos, Mn that is).

Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Parks) is the main
organization working to facilitate the Luce Line trail through the western
suburbs. The disappointments have been primarily in getting the Luce Line
across the City of Golden Valley to connect the Plymouth section with the
Minneapolis section. As I understand it the main problem in Golden Valley
was the plan to hug the RR tracks through the Golden Valley Country Club
Golf Course. I have been informed that there is plenty of room for the trail
on the RR right-of-way, but over the years the Country Club has encroached
onto the RR property with some of their golf facilities (not sure exactly
what these facilities are). The Country Club thus claimed adverse possession
and stated that they could not be forced to move their facilities out of the
way to make room for the trail.

As I understand the situation, Three Rivers Parks was prepared to legally
fight the Country Club, and figured they had a good chance of winning, if
they had the support of the City of Golden Valley. Golden Valley never gave
their support in this effort, so Three Rivers dropped this idea. There is
some speculation that the Golden Valley City Council did not give support
because they may have been misinformed, for some reason or another, by their
own staff into thinking that Three Rivers was not willing to fight the
Country Club.

After the plan to go through the County Club was dropped, there were
negotiations between Three Rivers and Golden Valley to figure out a way to
go around the golf course. These efforts also eventually went sour. Golden
Valley was requiring Three Rivers to pay the approximate million dollar
pricetag to bury a section of overhead utility lines that had to be moved
for the trail. Golden Valley was also requiring Three Rivers to pay them for
their engineering and planning costs related to the trail. Three Rivers is
willing to pay for the actual construction costs, but expects the
participating municipality to cover much of the cost of planning and
engineering. There is a Golden Valley centric story on this saga in the Sun
newspaper at :

Dave Stack
Harrison (where a section of the Luce Line Trail (Bassett Creek Trail) is
currently under construction)

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