Friday, March 13, 2009
JNS Blog Exclusive (Or Not) Mass Transit And Bridge Plans In North Minneapolis
After my post about city council candidate Kenya McKnight, and how she was caught flat-footed at a public forum when asked a question about the Bottineau Transportation Corridor, an anonymous source forwarded some info about mass transit and bridge plans in North Minneapolis. Now, truthfully, I don't know if this info is exclusive or...
...something that can be found elsewhere on the internet. I just don't know. But it doesn't matter, because sometimes I see it as my job to simply promulgate useful info about North Minneapolis. And sometimes I see it as my job to sneak in images and mentions of my son, Alex, pictured above. Alex has been a big fan of mass transit for pretty much his whole life.
So, for those who are obsessed with earth-friendly mass transit (and actually know what the Bottineau Transportation Corridor is) here's some some blog candy from an anonymous but oh-so-helpful source, as follows:
The Bottineau Boulevard Alternative Analysis is studying three light rail transit (LRT) options and four bus rapid transit (BRT) options for North Minneapolis. They are:
Lowry Avenue to Lyndale Avenue
West Broadway to Penn Avenue to TH 55
Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad Corridor to TH 55
West Broadway to Lyndale (BRT alignment only)
The consultant team on the project, SRF, has been giving each of the four alignments under consideration as optimistic chance as possible. For example, on the Lowry Avenue alignment, the Lyndale station was shifted to Fremont/Emerson station because of the opportunity to intercept the bus routes at this intersection and provide greater ridership. Emphasis has been placed on minimizing impacts to properties.
The current light rail station plans for Lowry Avenue call for stations at the Lowry Avenue intersections of Penn and Fremont/ Emerson avenues. The stations would be center platform stations with an eastbound platform on one side of the intersection and a westbound platform on the other side of the intersection.
The consultant team is currently studying the details of each alignment and determining items such as: signal location, additional right-of-way acquisition, road closures and access change necessity, and where vehicle travel lanes will be reduced. Once all details are defined, the travel time, ridership estimate, capital cost, and operating expense for each alignment will be determined.
By summer 2009 all alignments will be analyzed to the level that a decision can be made as to which alignments may qualify for federal funding. These alignments will be studied further during the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) phase of the project.
Lowry Avenue Bridge
The Lowry Avenue Bridge removal project has been bid and the $2 M demolition contract will be awarded to Bolander and Sons Construction (St. Paul, MN) later this month. Elements of the bridge will be salvaged for reuse. The City of Minneapolis will be reusing some of the steel grid deck as a fence at its new Public Works facility on Hiawatha Avenue. Eight of the roughly 8' x 2' x 4' limestone blocks comprising the substructures of the original 1905 construction will be salvaged and available for reuse. Bridge railing will also be salvaged and available for reuse as bike racks. In total, the county plans to reuse over 90 tons of bridge material.
It is presumed that the contractor will use cranes on barges to remove the bridge. It is anticipated that major bridge removal will begin once the river is passable for the barges.
Right of way acquisition for the new bridge has begun. The project is phased due to budget constraints. Construction of phase 1 includes just the river span, phase 2 includes the west approach from N 2nd Street. Hennepin County hopes to bid phase 1 construction in August. The second phase of construction will be bid when funding becomes available for this portion of the project.
Currently, Hennepin County, has identified state bridge bonds and county bonds for project funding. An application has been submitted for economic stimulus funding.
(Johnny Northside says: Wow! All this and the WORLD'S LARGEST YWCA coming on West Broadway? And with real estate prices impossibly low? Now is the time to buy, buy, buy a home in North Minneapolis!)