Nightmare ahead: LaSalle rebuild set for 2004

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June 16, 2003 // UPDATED 10:51 am - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

LaSalle Avenue is slated for a $2.9 million overhaul in 2004, disrupting commuter and residential traffic from 8th Street South to Franklin Avenue.

The city's Department of Public Works rates LaSalle as a high-volume street in poor condition -- past the point where maintenance will ensure a safe, pothole-free surface. Public Works will hold a neighborhood meeting to explain the project, Tuesday, June 24, 7p.m. at the Van Dusen Center, 1900 LaSalle Ave.

LaSalle, a southbound one-way street, starts at 8th Street Downtown, runs through the Loring Park and Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhoods and becomes Blaisdell Avenue once it crosses Franklin. It is a major commuter artery for southbound Southwest Minneapolis residents who work Downtown and want to bypass rush-hour snarls on I-35W.

The city last rebuilt LaSalle in 1964, said Robert Ervin, project engineer. The roadwork will start in April and end in November.

The city plans a total reconstruction of LaSalle from Grant Street to Franklin Avenue, ripping up and replacing the road and sidewalk. It plans a mill and overlay from Grant to 8th Street South, grinding off the top three inches of road surface and laying down a new surface.

The city is reevaluating part of LaSalle north of Grant and may decide it is bad enough shape to rebuild it as opposed to a mill and overlay, said Rhonda Rae, project manager. Crews already upgraded a two-block stretch of LaSalle from 9th to 11th streets south, in conjunction with work at the University of St. Thomas campus, she said.

LaSalle requires extraordinary maintenance, a Public Works report said. The city would save $11,000 a year on maintenance costs after the road is rebuilt. The rebuild is expected to last for 50 years.

For more information, call Rae at 673-3627.