Trees, grass spring up on Nicollet south of 46th

The Nicollet Avenue reconstruction, which closed traffic last year on the busy street between 46th Street and Minnehaha Parkway, is nearing its end. Crews are now beginning work on the project's finishing touches, adding trees and sod.

The $4 million Nicollet repaving project replaced roadway, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. While no traffic lanes or parking areas were changed, a left-turn lane was added to 50th Street.

John Dybvig, aide to City Councilmember Scott Benson (11th Ward) said the Park Board started work on tree planting in April. Dybvig estimated approximately 60 trees would be added.

In a memo forwarded from Ralph Sievert, head forester at the Park Board, he reported that species planted will include Japanese Lilac trees and Gold Black Ash.

Sievert wrote that the trees lining Nicollet's west side would be smaller because of overhead wires. He said residents shouldn't expect to see an elm-like tree canopy along the street, because there isn't enough space for those trees' roots to grow properly.

Dybvig said planting will be delayed on the 5100 block of Nicollet until the fall.

He said the sidewalk installed on the 5100 block didn't leave enough room for trees to grow, so the city's Public Works Department will scallop the sidewalk in mid-May.

The Nicollet project was originally scheduled to be completed last November, but was delayed due to utility work added after the project's start.