A key bike and pedestrian connection between the University of Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis is now open on the West Bank, and will get a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Sunday.

The path links Bridge 9 over the Mississippi River with bike lanes and sidewalks on S. 2nd Street. That means the Dinkytown Greenway in the rail trench adjoining the main campus and farther on, the Transitway between Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, will now be linked with bike routes into downtown. The link bypasses a steep drop down to W. River Parkway that previously provided a less-direct link.

The one-quarter mile link passes under the 10th Avenue Bridge and Interstate 35W (pictured in photo above). A culvert allowing the conenction was built into the reconstruction of the collapsed 35W bridge. The total cost of the link is $3 million.

Although the path has been usable since early July, city pols will hold an opening ceremony on Sunday.  Two groups of bikers will meet at Bluff Street Park near the west end of Bridge 9 at 1:30 p.m. One group will leave the Gopher football stadium, 420 23rd Av. SE, and the other will depart Gateway Park, N. 2nd Street and Hennepin Avenue, Both depart at 1 p.m.

(Staff photo by Steve Brandt)