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Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park closing for the year

The playground at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park already has been removed as part of upgrades to the county park, which closes for a year beginning March 1. (Bulletin file photo)1 / 3
A new entrance, road and trail will be built in the park this coming summer. (Submitted photo) 2 / 3
Starting in March, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park will close for a year so that South Washington Watershed and Washington County can work on construction and stablization in the park. (Bulletin photo by Katie Nelson)3 / 3

Recreation enthusiasts have until March 1 to use Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park before it closes to the public for up to a year.

Beginning in March, the South Washington Watershed District will work on stabilizing water and runoff in the park. In April, Washington County will begin construction of a new entrance on Keats Avenue, roadway, parking lots and trails in the park alongside construction of a six-legged roundabout connecting Keats Avenue, Highway 61 and East Point Douglas Road. The county will also be working on tree removal in March.

"Because there is going to be so much construction going on in the Cottage Grove Ravine (Regional) Park, they have determined that they are going to close the park to the public starting in March for one year," Mayor Myron Bailey said. "That means walking trails will be closed, access into the park will be closed ... You'll have to find another park or another trail, and we've got a lot."

Construction on roadways inside the park is estimated to run from May to December. If construction stays on track, the park could reopen earlier than March 2018.

Crews also will work on a four-mile trail connection from a new park entrance on Keats Avenue to Bailey Road in Woodbury.

Project costs for the road improvements and stabilization plan are estimated at $5 million.

"The purpose behind this is to fix the park," Bailey said of the closure. "They definitely don't want anyone to get hurt."