Matthew Stenberg over 2 years ago

35W and 94 have both cut through the center of the urban fabric.  Cities across the world have looked at remedying this by creating useable space above freeways by decking over them to allow for construction.  Buildings or parks can be built above these freeways to restore neighborhoods, provide greenspace, and increase walkability.  This can be done on a trial basis between Downtown and the University of Minnesota's West Bank or in another area that would demonstrate similar benefits from being tied together.

7 Comments 18 Votes Acknowledged
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Deb x over 2 years ago

Brilliant suggestion! Ziggy could help contribute to this in the area adjacent to the Dome. That cavernous freeway no-man's land is daunting & unattractive.

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Keith Morris about 2 years ago

They did this (albeit only once for some reason) back in Columbus and you can't even tell you're walking ove a highway with the bars and restaurants hiding it from view. http://casestudies.uli.org/casestudies/C035010.htm

Parks I don't really see being desirable unless there is nothing to connect and on the condition that all other retail strips gashed by highways are filled in with retail caps. West Bank/Seven Corners and Downtown could work, but it's a very long bridge and would require major (read expensive) retrofitting for it to possibly handle light weight retail structures to make the walk from, say Republic to Maxwell's seamlss, not to mention its lenght requires lots of businesses. Nicollet Ave between 15th and Franklin where it's quite dull and ugly would benefit greatly by having some life breathed into it with a unique (for Mpls) highway retail cap that econnects what is perhaps Mpls' most iconic street. Aside from the part where that dumb Kmart was plopped in the middle.

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Twincitizen x about 2 years ago

'The Cap at Union Station' referenced in Keith Morris' link above would be a PERFECT development at Nicollet & I-94. I completely agree that more sections of freeway should be covered by surface streets and green space. This type of investment should have been REQUIRED as part of the stadium deal, as Deb mentioned above. Downtown East & Cedar-Riverside/West Bank are horribly scarred by the number of freeway entrances and exits in the area. If the Lowry Hill Tunnel is ever rebuilt & expanded, I would love to see it buried all the way up to 394, reconnecting Loring Park & the sculpture garden. It could be extended east to Nicollet as well, reconnecting Stevens Square and Loring Park, ending at the Nicollet-94 cap. Much of it could be funded through TIF districts and selling the "air rights" over the highway to developers.

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Xan Cassiel about 2 years ago

Actually Keith, the stretch of Washington over 35W between 7 Corners and downtoen is not that wide. If development were allowed to use the space between the ramps and the freeways, then the bridge over the freeway would be a minor portion of the overall development - essentially a 2 or 3 story skyway. Thanks for the link, btw.

If 35W from downtown to the old Honeywell campus were covered, then there woud be a one mile long, 300 ft wide boulevard from downtown to midtown. All those parking lots and vacant buildings on either side would suddenly be prime real estate.

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Ruth Beepat about 2 years ago

It is time the 2 cities connected again with decks over the freeway linking neighborhoods Start with the capitol area.MAdison Capitol  blgs linked up all streets in their DT 

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Dennis N about 2 years ago

Near MPLS CONVENTION center building were torn down to build parking lots and ramps when the ramps could have been built over the freeways.ST PAUL near Xcel could have built over the hwy 35E and the capitol area the 94 rfeeways .

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jovan bedessi 8 months ago

The near the dome by Cedar Ave is ideal for parking over the hwy for the large parking ramps for the dome rather than in DT Mpls. Build over the West bank LRT station TC need to get rid of some freeway into the city VANCOUVER freeway does not go into the city .Milwaukee ,SF,Portland Seattle Boston are some city are gettign rid of some freeways connecting neighborhoods

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