The city's Public Works department is working to build an Uptown-Downtown bike bridge connection called the Loring Bikeway Bridge Improvement Project. Construction on the $3 million plan is scheduled for April 2004. The plan is still being fine-tuned, and the public can comment on it in the next two months.
Public Works technical engineer Kent Peterson said the bridge would run north beginning at Franklin Avenue from a future Bryant Avenue bike route. Heading Downtown, the route would curve to the northern end of the Vision Loss Resources parking lot, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S., and fly over the I-94 interchange onto an existing bikeway on Lyndale's east side. The route would then connect to the Loring Park bike path via Groveland Terrace and Oak Grove Street.
Currently, those cycling between Loring Park and the Wedge neighborhood have to bike amid cars under the I-94 ramps.
The bikeway connection would take away parking in Loring Park and the Wedge. Peterson said the number of lost spots hasn't been determined. The Wedge neighborhood runs between Hennepin and Lyndale avenues to Lake Street.
The public can comment on the project's design at any of the three scheduled open houses. The next public open house is Tuesday, April 22, at Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S., from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be two additional open houses in mid-May and early June.
Peterson said the project costs would be paid by $2.2 million in federal funds (already secured), $200,000 in city Neighborhood Revitalization Program money and $600,000 in city money, most of which would come from the city's net debt bond funds.
Peterson said the project requires no special property-tax assessments.
For more information on the project, contact public works engineer Stephanie Malmberg at 673-3365.