Southwest city road project updates

Despite the city’s budget crunch, there are still plenty of Southwest projects slated for this road-construction season. Here’s a quick guide and status update:

Loring Bikeway

The Loring Bike Bridge, a 14-foot-wide walking/biking bridge linking Uptown to downtown, should be done in August.

The bridge runs parallel to the elevated I-94 eastbound ramp from Hennepin Avenue South and passes over Lyndale Avenue South. Then, it switches back to curl riders and pedestrians toward Lyndale, connecting with the bike path to Loring Park.

Project Engineer Stephanie Malmberg said after the bridge is done in August, work would begin on Phase II. This segment includes an area west of the bridge, which will have special lighting, railings, benches and public art. As part of the bridge project, the path into downtown between Groveland Terrace and Oak Grove Street is also being reconstructed.

One ongoing challenge will be graffiti. The bridge has walls that look sort of like cresting waves between the highway and the bikeway; taggers hit them hard in early May.

East Harriet flood tunnels and sewer overflow projects

The city’s long-running Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project – sewers designed to eliminate overflow problems that can mix sewage with stormwater runoff – continues in Flood Area 19 and Area 4 near the east side of Lake Harriet (see cover story).

Other Southwest CSO projects planned this year are Area 30 at Queen Avenue South & William Berry Parkway in Linden Hills, and Area 105 at Cedar Avenue & Laurel Avenue in Bryn Mawr.

Road and traffic systems repair

Another Bryn Mawr project scheduled this year is Ewing Avenue South’s renovation and repaving from West 22nd Street to where Ewing meets Drew Avenue South.

The project will resurface the top few inches of asphalt and repair the curbs and gutters, City Project Engineer Meseret Wolana said. The project is set for this year, but a confirmed construction start date has not been established.

Another 2005 project that lacks a start date is the cable interconnect project at France Avenue from West 51st to 54th streets in Fulton.

This project will install equipment for the city’s central computer communications system. Details of this technology were not available, and the Project Engineer did not return calls by Southwest Journal’s deadline. The expected traffic impact should be minimal, according to project plans.

Sources include the Minneapolis Public Works Web site and Project Engineers. For more information about Public Works projects, visit tinyurl.com/bznvl, which will take you to the right city Web page.