Work on Tornado-damaged sidewalks will follow tree stump removal on the North Side

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board began work Thursday, Aug. 11 to remove boulevard tree stumps left by the May 22 tornado on the North Side. The stump removals mean the City of Minneapolis will soon be able to begin repairs to sidewalks that were damaged in the tornado. The Mayor and City Council approved plans to make sidewalk repairs without assessing any of the cost to property owners.

Around 1,600 sidewalk panels were damaged when the tornado cut through north Minneapolis, according to a survey of the damage done by the City’s Public Works department. Also, around 600 feet of curb was damaged in the tornado and will need to be replaced. Almost all of this damage was caused when the tornado toppled trees along the sidewalks and curbs, causing the roots to push up the concrete. Once the tree stumps and roots are removed, the ground can be patched up and sidewalk work can begin.

Park and Recreation Board crews have spent the last several weeks working with Gopher State to locate utility lines around each of the 1,529 "tipped" stumps on boulevards that have exposed roots, in order to make sure the removal can be done safely. The work will begin in the northernmost section of the tornado area and move south, and work to remove tipped stumps is expected to take about a month. The City expects to begin sidewalk work around Sept. 1, once enough stumps are removed to allow crews to work continuously on sidewalk and curb repairs.

The cost of sidewalk and curb repair work is approximately $300,000, and the City Council has approved a resolution seeking reimbursement of these costs from FEMA and the State of Minnesota.

Replacing the sidewalks without assessing property owners is similar to what the City did in 2009 when a tornado damaged neighborhoods in south Minneapolis.

Published Aug. 11, 2011