Community Connection to Grand Marais Recreation Area considered
Plans for a pathway leading from the sidewalk on Highway 61
into the east end of the Grand Marais Recreation Area – called the
Community Connection -- are under way. Park Manager Dave Tersteeg
reported to the park board on March 6, that he had obtained quotes
from two local contractors – Edwin E. Thoreson Inc. and Winchester
Higgins of W Labor on materials and labor in order to get some idea on
Manager Tersteeg compiled costs for several different combinations of
materials that could be used – bituminous (blacktop) or granite sand
for the main trail; concrete or metal edging for curbing; flagstone,
eco-pavers, or concrete for smaller paths and landings; and concrete
or boulders for retaining walls.
Quotes ranged from just under $19,000 to just over $44,000 depending
on materials used. Steps, a water feature, a channel for runoff, and
site grading would cost an additional $18,000 to $36,000. These
estimates are significantly lower than the costs projected by SEH, the
firm that created the initial site drawings. Not included in these
prices would be trees, shrubs, and other plantings, benches, a fire
ring, a pedestrian bridge, signs, and containers.
Costs will be kept down by utilizing staff and volunteers for some of
the work. In a separate interview, Tersteeg said park staff would do
all the planting and landscaping. “That’s what we do all day, every
day,” he said.
Tersteeg later told the News-Herald that he thinks the project might
be done in two phases: developing a ditch for storm water management
and building the pedestrian entrance into the park. He envisions the
possibility of numerous contractors taking on different parts of the
The board expressed a preference for boulders over concrete for the
retaining walls. Chair Mianowski said, “We want to keep it rustic as
much as we can.”
The board will think about its options and make a decision on
materials at a later meeting; firm quotes can then be solicited from
contractors. The work will only take about a week or two to complete,
Tersteeg said. Spring or fall would be the best time to do it, he
said, but he recommended that they not try to get it done this spring.
“The idea is to bring people from town into the park and to bring
people from the park into town,” said Mianowski.
Tersteeg said, “This could become our front door.”