Shepard/Warner Road, Fort Snelling State Park set to reopen after spring flood closures

A roadway is covered by floodwaters
A stretch of Shepard/Warner Road near downtown St. Paul is covered by floodwaters from the Mississippi River on April 25.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News file

Two of the last remaining significant road and park closures due to spring flooding in Minnesota are set to end in the next couple of days.

The city of St. Paul announced Thursday that a three-mile stretch of Shepard/Warner Road will reopen by 6 p.m. Friday. And the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Fort Snelling State Park will reopen, in part, on Saturday.

Shepard/Warner Road

A long stretch of Shepard/Warner Road — which runs alongside the Mississippi River and provides access to and from downtown St. Paul — has been closed since April 16 due to high water.

After a first round of flooding due to runoff from snowmelt subsided, the city initially announced plans to reopen the road on May 15. But those plans were thwarted when torrential rain in southern Minnesota sent a second flood crest down the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

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The river has now fallen back below flood stage, and with dry weather in the forecast the city and Ramsey County are moving ahead with plans to reopen the road.

Short stretches of Sibley and Jackson streets that connect downtown St. Paul to Shepard/Warner Road also will reopen by Friday evening.

A fishing pier is seen dislodged from the shore of a lake
The Snelling Lake fishing pier at Fort Snelling State Park in the Twin Cities is seen dislodged from shore on May 15. The pier was pushed away from shore during spring flooding at the park along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News file

Fort Snelling State Park

The DNR announced Thursday that Fort Snelling State Park in the Twin Cities will reopen at 8 a.m. Saturday — though large parts of the park will remain off-limits to visitors for now due to lingering high water.

The park is located on the lowlands at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

It'll be the second reopening for the park this spring. It had previously reopened on May 15 after the first flood crest subsided — only to close again two days later when the water level started rising again.

While the main park road and some facilities will reopen Saturday, the trails and facilities on Pike and Picnic islands will remain closed, as will the Minnesota River boat launch.

The Snelling Lake boat launch will reopen Saturday, but the fishing pier at Snelling Lake was knocked loose by floodwaters and won’t be accessible until crews can reset it.

Park officials said trails that reopen this weekend may be wet and muddy, and have flood debris.

What’s still closed

While Fort Snelling State Park and Shepard/Warner Road reopen, Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul will remain closed for now.

So will a long stretch of Water Street that traverses the low-lying, riverside park.

The city said crews will need to inspect the park and road, and complete clean-up, before they can reopen.

Some other riverside park facilities also remain closed; find updates on the St. Paul Parks and Recreation website.