City and community leaders celebrate start of landmark North Side connection
Work on an important connection linking the City’s North Side and South Side is now under way. For decades, Interstates 394 and 94 and rail lines have contributed to physical and cultural barriers between these two sections of the city. The Van White Memorial Boulevard will literally bridge this divide with a 600-foot bridge span over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines and the Cedar Lake Trail.
The first section of Van White Memorial Boulevard was completed in 2002 and now serves as the main street for Heritage Park residential area. When this $22.3 million project is completed at the end of 2013, it will extend the roadway south of Glenwood Avenue to Dunwoody under I-394. The street will cross Bassett Creek and railroad tracks to connect the Harrison and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods to Interstate 394 and neighborhoods south of the freeway and provide both Minneapolis communities with a vital connection to each other, the rest of the city and the metro area.
The street is named after the City’s first African American council member. Mayor R.T. Rybak, Council Members Lisa Goodman and Don Samuels, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin joined guests of honor Mrs. Javanese White and family on June 12 to celebrate Van White’s legacy, the history of the area, and what is in store for surrounding neighborhoods.
The project was born out of the City’s efforts to de-concentrate family public housing in the city. The new Heritage Park mixed income neighborhood has replaced old public housing buildings in the near North Side as part of those efforts. This reconnection of north Minneapolis to south Minneapolis will also help further that goal.
The project is funded in part from federal, county and city funds. For more information on this and other street projects in Minneapolis, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/cip/2012.
Published Jun. 20, 2012