The first phase of Anoka’s Riverfront Park is likely to be under construction later this summer.
Monday the Anoka City Council approved the plans and agreed to call for bids on the project, that will include a quarter-mile walking trail, rain garden and two overlooks of the Rum River. Monuments and historical interpretive signage will also be included.
In 2009 the city received a $760,000 federal transportation grant to help pay for the costs associated with the trailway, which will run from the Main Street bridge and connect to the existing Rum River Trail at the Henry Hammer Overlook. The grant requires matching city funds of $190,000.
This trail connection will allow pedestrians and cyclists to follow the Rum River all the way from the boat launch at Akin Riverside Park up to Anoka High School.
Public Services Director Greg Lee said it will be an elaborate trail, made with bands of colored concrete.
Lee also said this summer’s work will be the beginning of parking being permanently affected north of city hall.
Thirty-five spaces along the bank of the river will be eliminated during the construction of the walking path.
There are extensive plans in place for future phases of Riverfront Park. Those tentatively include a grand staircase down to the river, a riverfront plaza and an amphitheater.
But Lee assured Councilmember Jeff Weaver those plans are subject to change.
Bids will be received by June 20 and the council is expected to award a contract July 1.
Work will begin July 15, immediately after Anoka Riverfest and Craft Fair, Lee said.
Three bid alternates will also be part of the bid and include a third overlook where the trail curves toward Second Avenue, two benches at that overlook as well as an informational kiosk on the riverfront plaza.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at email@example.com