City Council backs 26-block Lyndale Avenue reconstruction plan

The Lyndale Avenue Reconstruction Project to redo the Southwest road from Lake Street to 56th Street, gained City Council approval Nov. 4.

The project is planned for 2007, but Hennepin County - which owns the road - plans to stagger it with Lake Street's reconstruction from Dupont Avenue to I-35W, so both projects won't converge on the Lyn-Lake business node at the same time.

In granting approval, the city made small changes to the proposed layout. Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman said the approved changes weren't a major concern.

The plan is for Lyndale to converge to one lane in each direction and have parking on either side. A median was planned for 31st to 38th streets, which the city recommended shrinking to 10 feet wide, with protected left turn lanes.

In the project's southern segment, from approximately 38th to 49th streets, the county had planned bump-outs at the beginning and ends of each block, which would better define parking areas and discourage passing on the right. The city recommended instead that left turn lanes be added at 38th and 50th streets.

As part of the plan, the 50th Street intersection will also be widened; because of federal funding, the county will also be able to replace the Minnehaha Bridge, which will be phased into the project.

Hennepin County will pay 90 percent of the $15.4 million project, and the city will fund 10 percent through property assessments.

Dorfman said representatives from Southwest neighborhoods bordering the street have been meeting with Hennepin County Project Engineer, Guy Nowlan to discuss streetscaping options for the road.

The county has a Roadside Enhancement Fund (REF) that will help pay for some streetscaping amenities such as bus shelters, lighting and landscaping. Assessments will cover some of the costs.

Nowlan said the streetscaping group has met twice but could still use more business-owner representation. He said the group would meet three more times within the coming months to discuss potential amenities.

As for the section of Lyndale Avenue north of Lake Street - currently not part of the reconstruction project - Dorfman said she's hoping to add it to the county's Capital Improvement Plan next year.

For more information or to volunteer to participate on Nowland's streetscaping group, call 763-745-7655.