Lake of the Isles improvements continue

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board crews are preparing to begin work on shoreline stabilization around the Lake of the Isles.

Much of the shoreline on the east side of the lake, which the project will target, is composed of steep, dirt cliffs that erode over time and degrade the quality of the water.

Construction, which will begin the first week in September, will decrease the slope of the cliffs and create an area that will improve the water quality and provide a habitat for diverse plants and animals. The stabilization project will concentrate on the shoreline from 26th St. W. north to the Kenilworth Bridge.

An allocation by the State Legislature of $3.2 million will make this fall's shoreline stabilization work possible. Trail work and landscaping in the 2007 construction season will also benefit from the funds.

The city's Planning Department has said that no roads will be closed and truck traffic will be minimal during the construction.

Project Manager Tim Brown estimated that the renovation, which has included raising the parkland around the west bay and north arm of the lake above the 100-year flood level, is half finished. He predicts the remaining work to be completed by Dec. 1.

Renovation around the lake has already seen the planting of new trees, the creation of new pedestrian paths on the lake's southeast side, a new wetland area on the lake's south side and the replacement of the retaining wall at Evergreen Point.

This August, new lights will be put in place for the ice skating rink. The state-of-the-art lighting will increase light on the rink, while reducing the light that shines into the sky and neighborhood. Spring construction will see continued landscaping around the lake, new pedestrian paths, new trees, concrete pads for benches and the stabilization of the south shoreline.

For more information, www.minneapolisparks.org.