St. Louis River Master Plan Relieved

Plans To Add More Access Points To Water And Connect Neighborhoods

The city of Duluth unveiled new details about the western waterfront and trail master plan tonight.

After nearly a year of studies along the St. Louis River and multiple public input sessions have finally brought some insight to what the master plan might intel.

The Morgan Park recreation center was packed with local citizens eager to see this master plan that would stretch for more than ten miles alongside the St. Louis River.

After several months of public input, Mayor of Duluth, Emily Larson and her team unveiled a plan that would maximize the connections to parts of the river that currently are inaccessible.

From the Irving neighborhood to Chambers Grove Park. They say city owned water front would increase connectivity between adjacent neighborhoods and allow for more recreational use alongside the St. Louis River.

“We hope through this process no matter what their favor is, whether they’re a paddler or a hiker or someone who is a bird watcher or a rail enthusiast, that folks will just know how to access the river and enjoy its natural beauty.” says Lisa Luokkala, Duluth Parks and Recreation.

The master plan currently includes plans to restore 4 ½ miles of the LS&M railway. But also removing 1 ½ miles of the railway and replacing it with a trail. That’s a controversial change because some do not want to see part of the historic railway eliminated.

The plan also adds three new access points to the river for non-motorized water craft.

“What we continue to hear in our community is that it’s not very accessible. You can barely see it from Grand Ave and a lot of the neighborhoods are disconnected because of the previous industrial activity along the river,” said Heidi Bringman, Landscape Architect.

The ultimate goal is to enhance the surrounding neighborhoods while continuing the restoration of the St. Louis River. The project is far from over. If everything goes as planned it could take up to 20 years to complete.

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