Lakewalk Extension Feasibility Study
Project Type: Feasibility Study
Client: City of Duluth
The City of Duluth Lakewalk Extension Feasibility Study sought to ascertain the viability of completing the missing link of the Lake Walk along the Lake Superior shoreline. Between 20th and 26th Avenues, this most beloved and heavily used multi-use trail disappears and foot traffic is redirected along city streets. The ownership of the land required to complete the trail needed to be explored, to ensure that the City of Duluth has the legal right to build a trail along this stretch of shoreline. In addition, given the steep, rocky and debris-laden terrain, the feasibility of completing the trail within the required parameters of the ADA was also in question. And since major regrading and earthwork would be cost-prohibitive, the feasibility of this trail segment is also dependent on the constructibility of the unpredictable soils left behind by various commercial and industrial uses.
This study found that the completion of the Lake Walk Extension is feasible. A conceptual grading plan was developed to illustrate how best to negotiate the slopes along the shoreline, creating an accessible trail that would be stable on the existing soil conditions. A strategy for slope stabilization was also developed, to reinforce areas that are exceptionally prone to erosion. A legally buildable corridor was identified for the project, and site sensitive grading was proposed to spatially and visually separate trail users from adjacent residents. The narrow corridor would include the trail, a residentially-scaled fence, and vegetative screening with native and adaptive plants.