On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, the ROCORI Trail Construction Board – covering Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond – purchased a large corridor of land from the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe (BNSF) Railroad.
The purchase price was $1,298,000 for approximately 1,428,000 square feet, or about 33 acres, of land from BNSF. The land covers a corridor from 178 Avenue North between Richmond and Cold Spring and runs just to the east of the Sauk River in Cold Spring. This represents phase 1 of a three-phase trail project that will eventually run all the way through Rockville to Suburban Raquet Club.
The funding of this purchase and the upcoming construction project was made possible through more than $2 million in federal and state grants, monies from the three cities and Stearns County, and many generous donations.
Without delay, the railroad ties on the west end of the project are coming out today, which signals the start of construction of the largest section of the Rocori Trail to date (Rockville’s downtown portion was built in 2009). Paving the trail and preparing safety features to the Sauk River Bridge are the next steps, and this phase is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.
“We have worked hard since 2003 to make this trail a reality in our time.” said Duane Willenbring, Chair of the ROCORI Trail Construction Board. “There is still much to be done and more trail to build, but we look forward to fulfilling the promises of this wonderful addition to our area. This is a good time to pause and celebrate hard work and our greater community. ”
The Trail Board publicly thanks Burlington Northern-Sante Fe Railroad; Roger Schwinghammer at Jones, Lang, and LaSalle for representing the Railroad; the officials at Stearns County involved in this joint process; Adam Ripple of the Rinke Noonan Law Firm; Heidi Peper and Scott Hedlund of Short Elliot Hendrickson; and all of the donors and volunteers to date that have made this trail process come to life. The Rocori Trail Committee is made up of representatives from all three cities, the County, the DNR and consultants – many of whom have been on board since 2003 – nine years of monthly or so meetings! Your service is greatly appreciated!
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