Posted by: Dan Bergeson | July 10, 2011

It’s Enough to Make a Fella Whistle

24 hour news cycle got you down? Always bad news to boot? I hear ya. The state of Missouri ripped up and flooded. The state of Arizona engulfed in flames. E. coli running rampant in Germany. The Northfield EDA and the City Council at loggerheads (and the Minnesota, Iowa and New Jersey legislatures). Even Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are starting to get combative (with each other!).

Well, I have some good news to report. Successful graduations occurred in the past month for hundreds of high school and college students in our fair city. And several physical changes are occurring that will make some of us happy when we see them or use the facilities that are being constructed.

I was out riding recently and when I got to the south end of the Peggy Prowe Bridge, I noticed a new trail heading off along the Cannon River toward Dundas. I’ve been keenly following the plans for a trail connecting Dundas and Northfield on the east side of the river, but didn’t know that the work had progressed this far. I started off on the crushed rock trail and followed it for nearly a mile until it ended just south of the Northfield Ice Arena. (It’s been paved since I took this photo.) When this gets to Dundas, bikers and walkers will be able cross the river and pick up the Mill Towns Trail on the west side for a return trip to Northfield. A six mile loop end-to-end!

A couple weeks ago I watched with growing anticipation as more and more equipment arrived on the property behind the Crossing of Northfield and power shovels and bobcats started doing surgery on the river bank. I’m not the only one who has been disappointed that when the bottom fell out of the real estate market three years ago, all work on the Crossing project, including landscaping, came to an abrupt halt. Can it be that the current property owners (Highland Bank) are actually going to make the place look better? Here’s what it looked like by the end of the week.

The outdoor track at Carleton’s Laird Stadium is being replaced as I’m writing this and the football field has already been resodded. On the north side of the West Gym the practice fields which were totally submerged last fall have been swept clean of sediment and are now sprouting new blades of grass.

Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity is about a month away from occupancy (assuming that the City will allow a waiver to the college to  hire private inspectors as substitutes for the state inspectors who are unavailable due to the government shutdown!) and the bike lanes on Union and Fourth Streets that provide the Mill Towns Trail with a city through-connection have been newly striped after conclusion of the resurfacing project of the past two summers.

And moments ago, the USA Women’s Soccer Team won their quarterfinal match against Brazil in a penalty kick shoot out after 122 minutes of play. Wow.

If I don’t look for the good stuff, I might just crawl in a hole, close my eyes, wait for the storm to blow by, and cross my fingers that I make it through. And that’s no fun.



  1. Unfortunately, Dan, the East Cannon River trail won’t connect to Dundas anytime soon, far as I know.

    Something smells fishy to me about it.

  2. These things always seem to proceed in baby steps rather than being completed on the first pass. However, it’s 1.5 miles more of paved trail in the city than we had last year at this time! The question I have pertains to the sewer project. Did that get finished or is it still in limbo as well? There’s no evidence that there was trenching beyond the point where the paved trail ends.

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