Planks a lot: Mill Ruins wood road too costly

Share this:
June 25, 2002 // UPDATED 1:25 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

With construction bids running more than 60 percent over budget, the brakes will need to be applied on a Downtown road made of planks.

The plank road -- the next installment of Mill Ruins Park -- is meant to be a 60-foot-wide, white oak road that recreates the Mill District experience on West River Parkway (east of Portland Avenue).

However, the lowest bid was about $600,000 over the $1 million budget, so the road may need to be abbreviated.

Rachel Ramadhyani, landscape architect and project manager with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board, said the board had done research on costs, but "there aren't a lot of plank roads built."

According to Ramadhyani, wood and labor costs were most over-budget. Project designers are looking at ways to redesign a less-costly road that still incorporates the historic aspects.

"Having that wood surface is important, "Ramadhyani said. "We're looking in a preliminary way at perhaps having the pedestrian areas be made of wood and the driving surface be made of concrete. We can reduce our costs by having less wood in the project."

Road construction would have begun this summer and been finished next summer.

Ramadhyani said a new timeline is uncertain. Time is of the essence because a $780,000 grant will expire if construction doesn't start by mid-2004. Said Ramadhyani, "We don't want to have go find that $780,000 again."