Construction will finally begin on last leg of Cedar Lake Trail
Construction of the Cedar Lake Bike Trail’s last leg, which stretches through Downtown from Royalston Avenue to West River Parkway, is finally ready to begin after more than a decade of delays.
The City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a $1.6 million settlement with Duddy, LLLP for easements along the trail and a second resolution acquiring additional easements through eminent domain. The city will pay $1.2 million of the settlement; the Hennepin County Regional Rail authority will cover the rest, according to a staff report on the issue.
“I hope, really, this is the last action we have to take other than a ribbon cutting,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman (7th Ward), who noted that the trail issue was handed to her back in 2001.
The trail, which runs adjacent to Target Field, is set for completion at the end of this year’s construction season if all goes well, Goodman said. Work is scheduled to begin this month.
The Cedar Lake Bike Trail was founded in the mid-1990s and connects Minneapolis to the western suburbs along a former rail line.
“This is a great bike city,” Goodman said. “The more we can do in order to have off-road trails and commuter biking in place, the better off we are.”
City to explore streetcar for Nicollet and Central avenues
The City Council unanimously approved a resolution directing staff to draft an application for federal funding that would be used for an “alternative analysis” streetcar study along Nicollet and Central avenues.
The proposed line would run through Downtown from Nicollet and 46th Street, and continue northeast on Central Avenue. It assumes an open Nicollet, which currently doesn’t exist because of a Kmart that interrupts the road at Lake Street.
City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (8th Ward) said the idea is preliminary, but it would help create transit equity for communities not slated for light rail development.
“There’s a long way to go still, but this is an important step,” she said.
E-Liner property set for development
The City Council unanimously approved remediation agreements for the “E Liner” property adjacent to the Guthrie Theater across 2nd Street.
The action will allow the American Academy of Neurology to build its international headquarters on the site, bringing roughly 150 high-paying jobs to the area, said Council Member Lisa Goodman (7th Ward).
The deal also grants exclusive rights to nonprofit developer Artspace Projects for the property’s Washington Avenue frontage, which will be used for an affordable-housing project that will incorporate the developer’s headquarters.
The vacant E Liner property was initially slated for condos, but plans fell through when the housing market collapsed.
5th-lowest bidder approved to board buildings
The City Council unanimously approved rescinding a contract with NeighborServe Inc. and hiring the fifth-lowest bidder, Castrejon Inc., for the job of boarding Minneapolis buildings after emergencies.
The original contact was rescinded because of performance issues, according to a staff report. The second-lowest bidder declined to accept the contract and the third and fourth lowest bidders were no longer in business.
Boarding buildings, done after fires and other emergency situations, will become the job of the Minneapolis Fire Department starting Aug. 1.