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Portion of popular trail in Minneapolis' Chain of Lakes closing for 3 years

It's because of Southwest Light Rail Transit construction.

A portion of a busy walking and biking trail tucked among Minneapolis' Chain of Lakes is closed starting Monday, May 13, because of new light rail construction.

The Kenilworth Trail, as it's known, runs between Lake of the Isles to the east and Cedar Lake to the west, connecting Cedar Lake Trail with the Midtown Greenway.

But for the next few years, pedestrians and bikers will need to take a detoured route as construction on the much-argued Southwest Light Rail Transit line begins. Work along that trial is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.

Here's a map showing the closure and detour routes, shared by the Met Council:

So what work is being done, exactly?

Well the new SWLRT line will go from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, southwest through the Bryn Mawr neighborhood and into St. Louis Park and Hopkins, before veering south and cutting through the eastern edge of Minnetonka, and ultimately ending in Eden Prairie (just off 494 and Hwy. 212).

Part of the train's route will carry it between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles, and the plan is to build a new bridge crossing over the channel that connects the two lakes. There's currently a wooden freight bridge there.

Once completed, there will be a light rail station on each side of the Kenilworth corridor: one on West 21st Street, next to Cedar Lake, and another on West Lake Street where it splits into Excelsior Boulevard next to Bde Maka Ska.

There will be other closures and work being done along the line's route, including Cedar Lake Trail from St. Louis Park to Hopkins. That will be closed starting Monday into fall of 2021.

You can keep track of construction updates and see full info here. The line is expected to begin operating in 2023.

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