May 15 update: The reopening of Shepard/Warner Road has been postponed
After a nearly monthlong closure due to flooding along the Mississippi River, a long stretch of Shepard/Warner Road near downtown St. Paul is set to reopen by Monday evening.
The city of St. Paul announced Friday that the three-mile segment of the well-traveled route to and from downtown will reopen by 6 p.m. Monday. It had closed amid rising river levels on April 16.
“St. Paul and Ramsey County Public Works crews have cleared debris and inspected the road and its underlying structures to determine that it’s safe to reopen,” the city announced Friday. Crews also have been working to remove barricades along the route.
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Short stretches of Sibley and Jackson streets that connect downtown St. Paul to Shepard/Warner Road also will reopen Monday — as will Fort Snelling State Park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
Some riverside parks and trails in St. Paul already have reopened — at least partially —as spring flooding continues to recede.
St. Paul Parks and Recreation said Harriet Island, Hidden Falls and Crosby Farm regional parks are open again, though restrooms and some other facilities are closed.
Lilydale Regional Park remains closed, as does Water Street that traverses it. The city said crews still need to inspect and clean up the park and roadway.
The Mississippi River at St. Paul has dropped about 8 feet since cresting last month. Recent heavy rain in southern Minnesota may send river levels rising again next week, but it's not expected to reach flood stage.
Stillwater flood wall coming down
The city of Stillwater said crews have started disassembling the massive temporary levee built this spring to hold back the floodwaters of the St. Croix River.
The nearly half-mile-long berm helped protect downtown businesses, but it’s also blocked residents and visitors from the riverfront.
The city said crews starting removing sandbags and plastic covering the berm on Wednesday. When that’s done, contractors will start hauling away the sand that formed the bulk of the levee, followed by barriers keeping people away from the river.
The river level at Stillwater has dropped more than 6 feet since cresting last month.