Parks update // Grant will fund new trail along Mississippi in Northeast

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August 27, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Nick Halter and Tim Sturrock
Nick Halter and Tim Sturrock

A bicycle and pedestrian trail project that will run parallel to the Mississippi River from 16th Avenue Northeast to 8th Avenue Northeast received a $1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration, according to Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board officials.

The 0.75-mile trail will traverse Boom Island Park through the former Scherer Brothers Lumber Company site and then continue to Sheridan Memorial Park in Northeast. Construction must begin by 2015 according to the grant’s conditions and will run through some private land, said Andrew Caddock, project manager for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. MPRB bought the land from Scherer Brothers Lumber Company in 2010 and park construction for that site could begin next year.

“I think it will add a great deal to the community,” said Caddock adding that the new trail will be a step toward completing the board’s RiverFirst and Above the Falls plans which call for continuous parks and trails along the river. “Not only will it connect some old parks it will connect some new parks as well.”

Reconstruction of Parade Parkway to begin Sept. 10

Reconstruction of Parade Parkway, a connection for Kenwood residents to downtown, is set to begin Sept. 10. 

The new road will be roughly in the same place as the last one, except that all parking will be moved from the soccer field side of the road to the Ice Garden side of the road. 

The project will cost $700,000–$800,000 and work should be substantially completed by mid-November, said Cliff Swenson, the Park Board’s director of design and project management. 

The road will be closed during construction. A detour will maintain access to the Ice Garden and Blake School.

Swenson said the Park Board considered moving the road to the other side of soccer field, but he said the neighbors preferred keeping the road in the same place. Neighbors were concerned that by moving it to the east the road would become a shortcut for motorists. 

Park Board considering renovation of Parade Ice Garden

Staggering maintenance costs at Parade Ice Garden have the Park Board considering a renovation of the nearly 40-year-old ice rinks.

Last year, the Park Board spent $60,000 repairing leaks in the system that refrigerates the sheets of ice used for skating and it’s on pace to spend $150,000 in 2012, said Bruce Chamberlain, the Park Board’s assistant superintendent of planning. 

Chamberlain is asking the Board for funding to replace the system, plus make energy conservation improvements and replace the arena’s roof. He’s also asking for funds to make upgrades to the Northeast Ice Arena, the only other public indoor rink in the city.

A new refrigeration system would reduce maintenance costs, Chamberlain said. It would also allow the Park Board to keep both of Parade’s two ice rinks open all year, allowing for increased revenue from users. 

A consultant gave the Park Board preliminary estimates saying that improvements to the arena would cost $4.5 million or $5 million. It would be $5 million if the Park Board chose to replace a 20-year-old roof. 

With increased revenue and lower maintenance costs, Chamberlain said the upgrades would be revenue neutral over the course of 20-year bonds. 

For refrigeration the Ice Garden currently uses R-22, a greenhouse gas that is being phased out of many arenas. 

The Park Board is expected to vote on the project by the end of the year, with a goal to start construction in March 2013 and end it by August 2013.