The next big thing: Lyndale Avenue’s reconstruction

Hennepin County officials are visiting Southwest neighborhood groups to present plans for the Lyndale Avenue South Reconstruction Project. The project will reconstruct the county-owned street from just north of Lake Street to 56th Street.

Lyndale’s $20 million reconstruction was scheduled for 2006, but Jim Grube, the county’s transportation and public works director, said it will be 2007 or 2008 because of a (now-resolved) funding delay, plus project backlogs for county road designers.

The city had originally planned to widen Lyndale in 1994, but business and property owners formed a task force to combat what they saw as a plan that inadequately committed to traffic calming. By 1997, the group had designed an alternative reconstruction plan. The current plan is based on the 1997 work, which breaks the reconstruction into the following sections:

– Between Lake and 31st streets, Lyndale would be one lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane. There would be parking on both sides of the street. This portion of the road will be rebuilt with the Lake Street Reconstruction Project.

– Between 31st and 38th streets, Lyndale would have one lane in each direction, a 10-foot median island, and parking on both sides of the street. Grube said the medians would be landscaped and allow left turns.

– Between 38th and 49th streets, there would be one traffic and one parking lane each way. Proposed corner bumpouts (widened curbs) will better define parking areas and discourage or eliminate passing on the right, Grube said. He added that the West 50th Street intersection would be widened to smooth traffic flow through where Lyndale veers a bit.

– Between 51st Street and Minnehaha Creek, there would be one driving lane and one parking lane in each direction. The current hourly parking restrictions would be removed. There would be no bumpouts on this stretch.

Grube said federal funding for the Minnehaha Creek bridge replacement has also been secured, so considerations for that addition must also be worked into the phasing of the project.

Grube said plans between Minnehaha Parkway and 56th Street are uncertain; the county is still working with businesspeople and residents along that stretch.

Upcoming scheduled neighborhood meetings include:

Whittier Alliance, Monday, Nov. 15, 7:15 p.m. at the Whittier Community School, 2620 Grand Ave., 2nd floor;

CARAG board, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S.;

Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m. at Jefferson Elementary School, 1200 W. 26th St.;

Lyndale Neighborhood Association, Monday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m., Painter Park, West 34th Street & Lyndale Avenue South; and

Kingfield Neighborhood Association, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. at Martin Luther King Park, West 41st Street & Nicollet Avenue.

The county has already presented the plan to the Kenny and East Harriet-Farmstead neighborhood associations. Organizers are still working on presentation dates in the Lynnhurst, Windom and Tangletown neighborhoods, potentially in January.

Following this round of public meetings, Grube said the county would begin detailed design work and make sure community members are informed of the plans. He said the county would also begin talks about streetscaping and who would pay for it between county taxes and assessments.

For more information, visit www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/ward13. Hit the "Current Ward Issues" link and then the "Lyndale Avenue South Reconstruction" link.