Construction of Acorn Lake part of Heartland Trail to get underway next month

It's been a long time in the making, but construction of the Acorn Lake segment of the Heartland Trail between Detroit Lakes and Frazee is slated to begin in the next few weeks.

This is a basic layout of the planned Heartland Trail segment between the tunnel under Trunk Highway 10 out to Acorn Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

This is a basic layout of the planned Heartland Trail segment between the tunnel under Trunk Highway 10 out to Acorn Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

This is a look at how the trail bridge across Becker County Highway 10 would look when completed. (Illustration courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

This is a look at how the trail bridge across Becker County Highway 10 would look when completed. (Illustration courtesy of the Minnesota DNR)

That portion of the trail has already been bid out, according to Detroit Lakes City Alderman Bruce Imholte; the contract was awarded to the St. Paul-based Carl Bolander & Sons construction company, at a cost of $2.85 million.

"They're going to start construction in June," said Imholte, who is on the Heartland Trail planning committee.

"Right now we're still walking through some of the technical components with the contractors, and some utility issues," said Kent Skaar, the senior project manager for the parks and trails division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The pre-planning for this segment of the trail has been a bit more difficult, he noted, because of the terrain: It's steep, and there has been some erosion in that area, so some reinforcement needs to be built.

"The slope is near vertical," said Skaar. "In order to stabilize that slope and bring the trail through, we'll be constructing a substantial vertical wall."

The retaining wall will be built using decorative precast concrete "that's been stained to look like granite," he added — and because of its location, there will be some pretty nice views for trail users once it's finished.

"It will provide a nice observational area overlooking Acorn Lake," Skaar said.