Grand Rounds Missing Link Update

By Anna Pratt , Special to the TC Daily Planet from 11/14/2007

Controversial Como route eliminated, but a new route proposal resurrects similar fears among residents

On Nov. 1, the citizen advisory committee (CAC) to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) rejected a controversial route proposed for the Como neighborhood that would have taken out dozens of homes to complete a segment of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. A new route proposal, unveiled at that meeting, calls for tearing down around 30 homes plus some businesses on Hennepin Avenue East, between 26th and 27th Avenues Southeast, causing a new stir among some Como residents.

HNTB project manager Tom Johnson stressed that things are still in a conceptual stage, however, “[The new route] is better in terms of housing and businesses and is more compatible with the U. It also has a joint use of Granary Road. It makes a lot of sense,” he said. Granary Road is a new road that would be built under the proposal.

The 50-mile Grand Rounds, accessible by car, bike or on foot, remains unfinished between St. Anthony Parkway South and East River Road. The CAC is trying to figure out the most ideal path for this “missing link,” with the help of a technical advisory committee (TAC) and HNTB Corporation. The CAC will present its recommendation to the Park Board in spring 2008.

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