Recreational Trail System

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Trail System Project
is a dream come true

Luverne Loop Will Circle City When Complete

Project Owner:
City of Luverne, MN

Key Experience:

  •  Includes crossing of Eastern-Ellis Railway and a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) crossing of Highway 75
  • Partially funded by outside funding sources, including Clean Water Legacy Amendment Grant
    funding
  • Wetlands & floodplain in Phase 2 area
  • State law that requires natural buffers along waterways. Poplar Creek & tributaries are habitat for the endangered Topeka Shiner minnow

Key Features:

  • Two-phase, 3.16 mile recreational trail on the north and west side of Luverne
  • Phase 1 segment was constructed in 2016, consisting of 1.5 miles of 10’ wide paved asphalt trail along north side of Luverne
  • Phase 2 segment was constructed in 2018, consisting of 1.68 miles of 10’ wide paved asphalt and concrete trail along the west side
    of Luverne

Luverne, Minnesota resident Preston Ver Meer dreamed of a public trail system in his city which would allow residents of the area to experience his love for biking. In 2012, after a significant amount of research and planning, he shared his vision with city officials, which sparked the formation of a trail committee.

DGR Engineering (DGR) was part of the committee that worked to investigate the feasibility of building a multi-use, hard surfaced trail that would circumnavigate the city and incorporate the city portion of the existing Blue Mounds Trail. Later that year, the City applied for and received a grant for technical assistance on trail planning through the National Parks Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program.

In the years that followed, NPS RTCA staff assisted community leaders and committee members through an extensive planning process that explored goals, objectives, possible routes and funding sources. The committee determined that there were many stakeholders, including schools, businesses, the city and county who would benefit from the proposed project. It also recommended that the trail should connect many points of interest in and around the city, such as schools, ball fields, hospital, Veterans Pond fishing pier, The Lake, Blue Mound State Park, fitness center, historical features, city parks, ice arena, restaurants, shops, hotels and sidewalks and more throughout the city. By the end of 2015, the Luverne Loop Trail Master Plan was finalized.

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DGR worked with the City on the design of Phase I & II of the trail that was located on public and private property. DGR also assisted with grant applications, land easements and land acquisitions. It was hoped that the city would be able to utilize a variety of funding sources, including local, regional, state, federal and private grants and donations to develop and manage the Luverne Loop Trail. Plans and specifications were complete for Phase 1 in 2015. Phase 1 was completed in June of 2016 with partial funding from a Minnesota DNR Local Trail Connection Grant.

Phase 2 plans and specifications were completed in the summer of 2017. The construction of Phase 2 was completed in the summer of 2018. The City was awarded a MnDOT Transportation Alternatives Grant to assist with the funding of Phase II construction.

The City also received a Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant to create the “Roll On Luverne” bike loan program that was established to further enhance the trail’s use.

In 2016, Luverne Loop and Blue Mounds Trail received a “Regional Significance” designation from the Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission. Due to the tremendous popularity and success of the trail, The City has applied for a grant for Phase 3 and if awarded, construction will begin in 2020. The final phase will pass along the east side of the fairgrounds around Redbird Field and connect to the south end of the
Blue Mounds Trail.

The Luverne Loop has added to the quality of life for Luverne area residents.

Learn more about the trail at www.cityofluverne.org/trails

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