Preservationists in Stillwater have asked the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to consider a guardrail design along a new pedestrian trail that would fit better with the city's industrial history.

"As a mitigation effort on the loop trail, we would prefer a design that enhances this very prominent entrance into our community, and appears less like a typical state highway guardrail," Brian Larson, chairman of the Heritage Preservation Commission, wrote to a MnDOT engineer recently.

The guardrail would flank a new loop trail planned as part of the St. Croix River bridge project. The trail would cross the new bridge and the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which will close to vehicle traffic in 2016.

Larson said the commission prefers a design resembling handrails at the city's famous Main Street stairs.

kevin giles