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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Area construction projects fast approaching

Posted on 12 February 2016 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Area Under Construction signAs winter enters its final weeks, area residents and business owners need to think about Minnesota’s second season: construction. The memories of Snelling Ave., Interstate 94 Bridge and Green Line construction may be receding. But this construction season will bring other projects, including the long-awaited completion of the Como-Chatsworth street reconstruction work in Como neighborhood.

Area residents will also be watching for completion of Cleveland Ave. bicycle improvements, which will extend from University Ave. down to Highland Village.
Some projects are thanks to last-minute St. Paul City Council budget changes.

Council President Russ Stark said he was pleased with how smoothly the 2016 budget review process went and the fact that the council was able to find money for some smaller, but important, projects.

“We weren’t able to add in everything we would like to have added, but we were able to include some council priorities,” Stark said. The budget included $1.6 million in last-minute changes.

One is the bike lane project, at a cost of about $200,000. It will add a needed north-south route. Residents and business owners in Merriam Park should watch for upcoming city meetings about the project there.

Another addition was city funding to help purchase the Victoria Theatre. The council tentatively allocated $150,000 toward the group working to redevelop the Victoria Theater in Frogtown, on University Ave. just east of Victoria St.

As for street work, there should be less disruption in 2016 with the start of A Line bus service on University. The area also has no Ramsey County Public Works projects. The county has been able to step up its street work thanks to its recently enacted wheelage tax.

So what else is on the horizon for 2016? Como residents will see the last summer of Como-Chatsworth street reconstruction. The large size of the project and high assessments have added to the stress of torn-up streets and sidewalks. The St. Paul Department of Public Works recently updated the Planning Commission Transportation Committee about that project with Barb Mundahl, who is project manager for the city. The $4.5 million project will add new streets, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, street light and street trees.

Work is planned for June to November. The project has drawn criticism not only for its high assessments but also for long periods with torn-up streets, and street work that for some coincided with the start of school. City officials are trying to mitigate those concerns.

Follow the project at https://www.stpaul.gov/residents/street-design-and-construction/street-construction-projects/comochatsworth-spsvp.
Other projects are smaller in scale. Crews will work on the Lexington Pkwy. to Pierce Butler Rte. bicycle connection. Watch for new street lighting on part of Como Ave. as well.

New playground equipment will appear at Hamline-Midway neighborhood’s May Park on Clayland Ave. and at Frogtown Farm playground equipment on Minnehaha Ave. Work will also continue on Dickerman and Iris parks.


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