Duluth Approves Study on Controversial Lakewalk Extension

Feasibility Study Will Show Cost of Trail Extension

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Duluth’s Lakewalk is one step closer to being fully connected along Lake Superior.

With a 7-2 vote Monday evening, the Duluth City Council decided to move forward with a feasibility study to see if extending the Lakewalk is a good idea.

The conversation to extend the Lakewalk seems never ending, but Monday’s city council vote is the closest officials and Lakewalk advocates have ever been to continuing the trail.

Last month, the Lakewalk task force presented its recommendation to the city council for a walking-only trail along the shore from 19th Avenue East to 26th Avenue East.

It’s a strip of land where town home communities line the waterfront.

The task force believes the plan is a good balance to give the community what they want while giving neighbors privacy.

“This is an issue that has deeply divided our community and there have been deep passions on many sides,” said city councilor, Joel Sipress. “There is not a single person in this room who is to blame for the decisions that lead to those divisions and lead to those passions.”

With council approval, a feasibility study will happen.

When the study is done, it will unveil how much the extension will cost and if a trail that close to the water is possible from an engineering standpoint.

The city doesn’t own the land the trail will be built on, but has an easement on the land meaning it has the right to extend the Lakewalk.

As part of the resolution, the city will vacate the easement if the feasibility study finds the trail along the water is not possible. 

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