MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Construction will begin next week on a new segment of the Saint Paul Grand Round bike and walking path.

On Tuesday, Mayor Coleman, City Council Members and students gathered to celebrate and unveil the Grand Round logo.

“It has been the vision of many folks for many many years,” Coleman said. “We’re very excited to take this gigantic leap forward.”

Celebrating progress for bikers and pedestrians in St. Paul, Mayor Coleman stood with 4th grade students from Mississippi Elementary for the ceremony. Their school will be located on the route.

“Certainly one of the aspects of building out the bicycle infrastructure in St. Paul is to make sure kids do have safe bike routes that they can ride, whether it’s to go to school or an after school event,” Coleman said.

The kids aren’t they only ones excited for the new plans. Stuart Knappmiller walked more than three miles — some of it on on a dirt path or grass — to come to the celebration.

“The safety factor of having a space that’s flat when I’m needing a walker — or if one of us end up in a wheel chair — to be able to bike off the street rather than on the street,” he said.

Construction on a key segment of the Grand Round will begin on Wheelock Parkway. The street will be fully reconstructed with the addition of an off-road bike trail, along with a new sidewalk. The stretch will run about 1.6 miles starting at Rice Street, working east to Edgerton. The entire plan will connect 27 miles for bikers and pedestrians.

Work on the Wheelock Parkway stretch will wrap up next Spring. City officials say the entire Grand Round project will take about a decade to complete.

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