Minneapolis reconstructs 29th Street as shared use street

29th St shared use street | Bye Bye Potholes
Photo credit: Renee McGivern

The City of Minneapolis is turning 29th Street South in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood into a curb-free, shared use street. This two-block stretch in the state’ s largest city had never been paved. It was made of dirt and oil, riddled with potholes, and had the reputation of being the worst street in the city.

A unique feature of this project is how the city partnered with a local artist to create “Rules of Play,” a colored concrete feature on the sidewalk. It fits this eclectic, vibrant area about eight miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis.

Shared use street a new idea in the U.S.

The city completed the first phase of its 29th Street project between Lyndale Avenue to Bryant Avenue in 2016. This spring’s work from Fremont Avenue South to Emerson Avenue South included new trees and sod. Work from Dupont Avenue to Bryant Avenue South is scheduled for 2020.

A shared use street allows for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles at the same time, and it is a rare model in the United States. There are similar shared streets in Seattle, and Cambridge, Mass.

The new concrete 29th Street is wide enough to allow for two-way traffic and parking bays on the north side of the street. It also provides for event spaces, green spaces and a sidewalk on the south side.

Minneapolis Engineer Tracy Lindgren said the city chose colored concrete with textured grooving to help sight-impaired walkers delineate the space between the sidewalk and the street. As part of the project, the city updated the storm sewer, and CenterPoint Energy relocated a gas main.

Removing contaminated soil an added project challenge

The city also hauled out 1,690 tons of contaminated soil from petroleum-based products. The area abuts the partially below-grade Midtown Greenway railroad trail now used by pedestrians and bicyclists.

The aggregate base used in this road project is recycled concrete from other road projects from around town. The city stores the used concrete; hires a contractor to crush it each year; and stockpiles the recycled concrete for future projects.

The shared street project’s total cost was about $1 million. The City of Minneapolis paid for most of the project with net debt bonds (municipal bonds) and the balance through special assessments to nearby property owners.

Project Dates:

June 2016-September 2016

Project details

  • Concrete depth: 8 inches with 6 inches of Class 5 Aggregate sub base
  • Total project length: .12 miles
  • Total concrete placed: 501.25 CY, including concrete used for pavement, curb, gutter, event area and sidewalk

Team

Owner: City of Minneapolis

Project Lead: City of Minneapolis (Project Engineer Tracy Lindgren and Planner Don Pflaum)

Project Designer: WSB & Associates (Ann Wallenmeyer and Peter Muehlbach), Minneapolis

Prime Contractor: City of Minneapolis Public Works Department – Paving Construction

Concrete contractor: City of Minneapolis Public Works Department – Paving Construction

 Ready Mix Concrete Producer: Cemstone, Burnsville, MN

Download the Case Study. Check out other 2017 street projects the city is working on.