The County Board of Commissioners approved funding for the next phase of two projects in and around Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park.

At their July 19 meeting, the board vote unanimously for amendments to two separate contracts with engineering consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. for $219,270 and $177,265.

The money will pay for final design services for, respectively, improvements to the interchange at Keats Avenue and U.S. Highway 61 and upgrades to Ravine Regional Park.

The highway project is budgeted at $2.5 million. County design engineer Frank Ticknor told the board that the preliminary plan is to install a six-leg roundabout that would encompass Keats Avenue, East Point Douglas Road and access ramps to and from Highway 61.

"Because MnDOT owns the ramps we have to get some approvals from them for the design of that six-leg roundabout," he said.

The project also would include a new entrance ramp to Ravine Regional Park from Keats, a move that officials hope will make the park more visible and appealing as a destination.

Construction costs be paid for with state funds.

The $2.5 million park project will include an overhaul to Ravine Regional Park, including an interior "circulation road" four new parking lots and a new trail that would run parallel with West Point Douglas Road. It will be paid for with bonds and grants.

The vote means that the final design phase of the projects can proceed.

"We're really excited about moving this into the final design,"Ticknor said.

Bids are expected to open in the spring of next year, with construction to commence sometime that summer.