The Dinkytown Greenway in Minneapolis, a .77-mile paved bicycle expressway linking the University of Minnesota Transitway to the west bank of the Mississippi River via Bridge 9, officially opened August 4.

“It isn’t the longest bike trail in the city, but it is probably the most important,” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told a crowd of nearly 200 cyclists at the opening ceremony. 

“Not only will bikers be able to get to the University from downtown all along segregated trail, but this connection also opens up opportunities for connections to St. Paul via the Transitway,” blogged Chris Iverson at www.streets.mn. “What once served as James J. Hill’s primary rail line into Minneapolis can now serve as the City’s primary bike connection between Minneapolis, the University, and St. Paul.”

In a former railroad corridor, the bike path cost $2.34 million with about two-thirds of that coming from federal sources. The project actually cost less than anticipated and the money saved will go toward development of the Bluff Street Trail, including a biking tunnel under Interstate 35W. That project awaits approval by the Minneapolis City Council.

According to Steve Clark, program manager for Bike Walk Twin Cities, the path was 20 years in the making. It is also one of a record number of nonmotorized projects in Minneapolis to be funded this year. Clark listed six bicycle boulevards, four road corridors with new bike lanes, several new sidewalks and three improvement projects for pedestrians at problematic intersections.