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Pathway completed over Paperjack Creek

Present for the ribbon cutting of the Paperjack Creek Pathway were (l-r) Sher Soderquist, Town of New Richmond and Pathway Committee; Irv Sather, Pathway Committee; Jim Heebink, Pathway Committee; Gary Knutson, Town of Richmond; Pete Kling, New Richmond Area Community Foundation; Todd Rehnelt, St. Croix County Assistant Highway Commission; Angela Popenhagen, Stevens Engineers; Gary Crosby, Street Foreman; Jenny Larson, Pathway Committee. Submitted photo

It may be the shortest segment of pathway in New Richmond, but getting the stretch completed on 140th Street and Paperjack Creek has taken years. It was a cooperative effort of many to get the project completed.

The recently completed 600 feet of pathway over Paperjack Creek on 140th Street is a wonderful example of how a public and private partnership can get things done for the greater good of the community.

Starting in 2010, when 140th Street was upgraded, the section of roadway over Paperjack Creek was completed without a pathway due to cost and other concerns. After many years where there were too many near misses between pedestrians and cars, Paul Mayer, then Chair of the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, sought a solution. He brought the Town of Richmond and the City of New Richmond together in 2014 and suggested a partnership of sorts, with the foundation to share the cost of constructing a pathway over the creek.

Safety concerns overrode territorial issues and the partnership moved forward with engineering, permitting, grant writing, and eventually construction in 2017. The actual construction of the path presented its own challenges when the primary contractor became too unreliable and the St. Croix County Highway Department had to step in to complete the project.

As the New Richmond community continues to grow, the likelihood of projects requiring this type of partnership could likely come up again.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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