Archive for August, 2013

Hastings Bike Routes

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 5th , 2013.

I spent a little time in the Hastings area this weekend. The new Hwy 61 bridge is not safe for travel by bicyclists and pedestrians. It is still under construction and the lanes that are open are narrow with no shoulder or separated walkway. According to the MNDOT project page, the new span will include a protected sidewalk on the bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists and will be complete by late 2013.

The crossing, however, will not be that useful. the last line of the document reads: “Construction of future trail connections north of the bridge are not part of the new Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge project.” So you can get across the river from Hastings to the north side, but as soon as you get across you will be dumped onto Hwy 61, a very busy Highway with truck traffic. If we’re lucky, there will be a wide shoulder, but it won’t be a pleasant ride. I’ve tentatively removed the crossing from future maps, but will reevaluate after seeing the completed bridge and Highway.

On a more positive note: Dakota County has created a bike trail that runs from Hastings to Spring Lake Park, a beautiful park overlooking the lake created by the Lock and Dam in Hastings. The trail makes it unnecessary to ride on Hwy 42, a road that has occasional heavy traffic, but a broad shoulder. This is a great addition for Hastings residents who wish to ride to the park, but it is helpful for anyone riding in the area. I’ve used the park frequently on extended rides in the area. I’ve kept Hwy 42 as a bike route because it is functional and continues beyond the park.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News