For Immediate Release                                 Media contact: Barb DeGroot, 952-443-1459

 

Arboretum Plans Site Improvements to Improve Visitor Experience      
Revised policy invites bicyclists to share the road on Three-Mile Drive
Chanhassen, MN (April 10, 2014) – Spring brings infrastructure construction and site improvements at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  The University of Minnesota's public garden and research center in Chanhassen will remain open during regular hours through the construction and announces the following projects to begin in late April:

Arboretum Entry and Gatehouse Renovation

In late April, work will begin on a redesigned gatehouse and expanded Arboretum entrance to meet increased visitorship demands.  The work includes additional entry lanes and modern features to update the gatehouse.  It is estimated the project will be completed by fall. Inbound traffic will have access through the entrance during the upgrade. 

Arboretum Circulator Rest Stops

Another visitor amenity is the construction of three Visitor Circulator rest stops along Three-Mile Drive.  Each stop serves as a pick-up and departure stop for the Visitor Circulators, as well as a source of visitor information on nearby gardens and trails.  The Arboretum's free 11-passenger electric Circulators shuttle visitors between Noon and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  The rest stops will be located at the Home Demo Gardens, Sculpture Garden and Maze Garden along Three-Mile Drive.

Sharing the Roadway on Three-Mile Drive: Welcome Back Bicyclists

The Arboretum's popular Three-Mile Drive will be open to all visitor traffic in mid-April, after being closed to motor vehicles for the winter.  New this spring is the return of bicycles on Three-Mile Drive, now designated as an official University of Minnesota roadway.  Bicyclists will now share the popular roadway with motor vehicles, the Trumpet Creeper Tram (open-air bus) and Visitor Circulators.  Pedestrians are being encouraged to use parallel trails and walkways as an alternative to the roadway.  Those who choose to walk Three-Mile Drive are asked to use a newly marked "pedestrian lane"; bicycles and motorized vehicles will share a marked main roadway with posted speed limits.  For safety, bicyclists and vehicles are urged to use extreme caution. Bicyclists also are asked to announce themselves when approaching pedestrians from behind.

Bicyclists can access Arboretum grounds via the Minnewashta Regional Park Trail underpass below Highway 41 and west of the Arboretum entrance.  If bicyclists use the underpass as a throughway to Highway 5 and other routes beyond the Arboretum, they are not required to pay admission. If they stop to enjoy the gardens and buildings, they are asked to pay a $5 day pass fee.