A year's worth of work to improve biking and walking opportunities in Roseville, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights came to fruition Thursday with the grand opening of the Northeast Suburban Campus Connector trail.

Paid for by $1.3 million in funding from Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities and $330,000 in local funding, the new trail connects Rosedale Center with the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. It runs along Larpenteur, Fairview and Gortner Avenues and will allow riders and walkers to access the U's transitway, which leads to downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as shopping destinations, area attractions, parks and libraries.

Among the route's amenities:

• New on-street bike lanes and sidewalk connectors have been added to portions of Gortner, Fairview and Larpenteur Avenues.

Wider sidewalks (8 feet) have been built on both sides of Fairview Avenue between County Road B and County Road B2. A shared path for bikers and walkers was added on Fairview where it passes beneath Hwy. 36 near Rosedale.

• New traffic signals with countdown timers have been installed along the route for improved movement for bicyclists and pedestrians. Trees, benches and other aesthetics have been added. Nice Ride, the popular bike-sharing program, has added a station at Dan Patch and Gortner Avenues on the U's St. Paul campus.

"Improvements such as these are vital for extending the Twin Cities' bicycle and pedestrian network beyond the core cities," said Joan Pasiuk, director of Bike Walk Twin Cities. "Kudos to the city and public works staffs of Roseville, Falcon Heights and Lauderdale for making these upgrades a reality, and for providing their residents and visitors with safer and more attractive bicycle and pedestrian routes."

The new trail intersects with existing trails and bike lanes on County Road B and B2 in Roseville, bike lanes on Roselawn Avenue, and the bike-friendly Cleveland Avenue. It also passes the Gibbs Museum and Evergreen Park, and affords easy access to the Fairview Community Center, Har Mar Mall, Roseville's library and Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

At its northern end at Rosedale, riders and walkers can pick up Metro Transit buses.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768 Twitter: @timstrib