ST. CLOUD - A plan to develop a riverwalk along the west bank of the Mississippi River near downtown St. Cloud continues to move forward. The St. Cloud city council is expected to enter into a contract agreement with a Minneapolis company on Monday that will work on planning and designing the feature.

Planning Director Matt Glaesman says it's the stretch of the river from St. Cloud Hospital to the downtown.

Right now we have a large roadway right down on the water's edge of the Mississippi River at a point that connects two of our major employers. So, the question is 'how can we make it more of a space for people rather than a space for vehicles?' right on the water's ege.

The company they're expected to hire has previously worked with Sioux Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Maple Grove on improving their waterfronts. Glaesman says they'll be looking for input from potential users of the feature.

We'll be reaching out to stakeholders and residents and any-and-all interested parties and ask them, "what would you do if you came down to the water's edge?" and "what would bring you down there?". So, the early part of the process will ask those questions of people.

Glaesman says they hope to have designs and a plan in place by next summer. Construction probably wouldn't begin until 2019 or 2020.

This phase of the project is being paid for by the city, the St. Cloud Rotary, and the Initiative Foundation.

Creating a riverwalk from the hospital to the downtown was part of the 2009 River Plan, as well as the most recent Comprehensive Plan.