Updated: 05/02/2013 11:27 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz
Endearingly called "America's Fourth Coast," the Mississippi Riverfront is largely under-developed on the north side of Minneapolis. But starting now, that could change. A massive park and trails project called Riverfirst is gaining speed.
"A lot of things will change when the back door becomes the front door and the public gets to use more of the river and we begin to ease the edges coming down in," said Landscape Architect Tom Leader.
"There are sites along both sides of the river and the big idea though is to get the continuous trails up in this part of the river so like the rest of the city where you can bike or walk along the whole river, now you'll be able to do it through the entire city," said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Vice President Liz Wielinski.
The Scherer park and Hall's island spot is just one of five initial projects that will stretch along the upper riverfront for five and a half miles from the Stone Arch Bridge to the north end of the city.
"We're going to come in and level off the street and it will be a major place for markets and festivals, things that really receive the community to take place and then that's going to tilt downwards dramatically toward the water," Leader said.
Other initial projects include a riverfront trail system, greenways and a downtown park.
"I personally would like to see removal of all the heavy industry so that the people that live on the north side can have the same kinds of amenities as others in the city which we don't," said Minneapolis resident Susan Vikse.
The project will cost approximately $174 million with funding from state, federal and private resources.
For more information on the project, click here.
Watch a video fly-through here.