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A new bridge would open that area up, said Richfield resident and Thoreau Society board member Dale Schwie. “It’s a real asset, both natural and recreational,” Schwie said. “Bloomington has an opportunity to create, in a wild sense, with the river valley what Minneapolis has done with the parks system.”
Keel said the first step is completing an environmental assessment that will detail potential effects on wildlife as well as cost for options from restoration to reconstruction. Once that’s complete, the city will have a comment period, with numerous state and federal agencies weighing in on whether they support restoration or reconstruction. Ultimately, the Fish and Wildlife Service has the final word.
The process could take up to a year, but Keel said he expects the council to take the necessary vote of support by the end of the year.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson