PV122 Dowling Ave (Lyndale Ave N to 1st St N)


Project Details:

Project Start Date: 4/15/2023

Ongoing Program: Y/N

Submitting Department: Public Works

Contact Person: Alexander Kado

Level of Need: Significant

Estimated Project Completion Date: 11/30/2024

Department Priority: 31 of 62

Contact Phone Number: (612) 673-5192

Website: TBD


Project Location:

Address: Dowling Ave North

City Sector: North

Affected Neighborhoods: Webber-Camden, Camden Industrial, McKinley

Affected Wards: 4

Lyndale Ave North to 1st Street North


Project Description:

To accommodate the transition of the Upper Harbor site from its original operation as a barge shipping terminal to a mixed-use development with housing, a music venue, commercial retail, park space, and offices; public realm and infrastructure improvements are necessary to support access to the site and redevelopment. Key components include a connected system of sidewalks, bicycle trails, and streets, and the extension of public utilities such as water, stormwater management, and sanitary sewer systems.


The City of Minneapolis, in close coordination with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), proposes to reconstruct Dowling Avenue North and construct a new segment of parkway to provide access and circulation to the Upper Harbor site. Dowling Avenue North will be the primary access point to the site and will serve as the gateway between the site and the greater North Side community.


The proposed project will reconstruct approximately 0.3 miles of Dowling Ave North from Lyndale Ave North to the planned parkway within the Upper Harbor redevelopment site. The existing Dowling Bridge, which is owned and maintained by MnDOT, will not be reconstructed as a part of this project. This corridor serves an estimated 50 people walking, 40 people biking, and between 9,500 to 16,700 people driving per day. Currently, the existing corridor consists of two to three traffic lanes, but lacks consistent pedestrian and bicycle facilities. This portion of the project is a reconstruction project involving the entire right-of-way and will include new sidewalks, ADA pedestrian ramps, bicycle accommodations, pavement, curb and gutter, pedestrian scale lighting, a railroad crossing, green infrastructure, and utility improvements. The project will also include signal improvements, new signage, and new pavement markings as needed.


The proposed project will also construct up to 0.9 miles of parkway, which will connect to Dowling Ave North and then travel north/south within the Upper Harbor site. This portion of the project is a construction project involving the designation of a new right-of-way and will include sidewalks, ADA pedestrian ramps, pavement, curb and gutter, parkway lighting, green infrastructure, and utility improvements. The project will also include new signage and new pavement markings, as needed.


The proposed project will also construct 0.1 miles of 33rd Avenue North from 2nd St North into the Upper Harbor site. This portion of the project is a reconstruction project involving the entire right-of-way and will include new sidewalks, ADA pedestrian ramps, bicycle accommodations, pavement, curb and gutter, pedestrian scale lighting, improvements at three rail crossings, green infrastructure, and utility improvements. The project will also include signal improvements, new signage, and new pavement markings as needed.


The proposed project will also construct and rehabilitate public utility infrastructure, including water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer, to serve Phase 1 development, as highlighted in the Draft Upper Harbor Coordinated Plan presented to City Council as a Receive and File report (February 2021). The proposed plan for the upgrading for the public utilities has been planned to support the street design and planned development. This work has been developed in close coordination with the development team and MPRB. As a part of this work, the City is exploring several options to implement innovative stormwater solutions in the public right-of-way to treat and improve the quality of water entering the Mississippi River.


In June 2018 the State of Minnesota awarded a $15 million General Obligation (G.O.) bond-funded grant to the City and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for public infrastructure on the UHT site. The Concept Plan stated that these funds will be allocated as $9 million to the City and $6 million to the MPRB. The City of Minneapolis is responsible for providing local funding to the project at least equal to their share of the State bond funds to assure that the project is fully funded.


Purpose and Justification:

To accommodate the transition of the Upper Harbor site from its original operation as a barge shipping terminal to a mixed-use development with housing, a music venue, commercial retail, park space, and offices; public realm and infrastructure improvements are necessary to support access to the site and redevelopment. This project provides a significant opportunity to deliver public realm and infrastructure improvements that prioritize inclusivity and community ownership for local BIPOC communities. As such, new public realm and infrastructure improvements will prioritize pedestrian and bicycle connections between adjacent neighborhoods and the Upper Harbor site by incorporating designs that promote safe, convenient, and comfortable travel. Furthermore, this project provides an opportunity to offer a riverfront-oriented experience with a focus on innovative stormwater solutions to clean and reduce the volume of water entering the Mississippi River.


This project is intended to improve the right-of-way and public utilities for all users and modes of travel. The section from Lyndale Ave North – the eastern side of I-94 was built in 1978 and is currently rated in fair condition by the City’s pavement management system with a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating of 80 in 2017. The section from the eastern side of I-94 – 1st St North was built in 1968 and is currently rated in poor condition by the City’s pavement management system with a PCI rating of 70 in 2017. These segments of Dowling Ave North have pavement surfaces that are beyond their expected useful life. This project provides an opportunity to incorporate ADA compliant curb ramps, add boulevards with green stormwater infrastructure and trees, address sidewalk obstructions, and implement an off-street bicycle facility. Dowling Ave North was identified in the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan as a High Injury Street and improvements will be prioritized to make progress towards eliminating traffic crashes that result in severe injuries and deaths.


Dowling Ave N & 33rd Ave N

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request

Partnerships


Have Grants for this Project been secured?

Yes


Describe status and timing details of secured or applied for grants or other non-City funding sources:

State Bond funds and a TEDI Grant were awarded for the Upper Harbor Terminal development site and associated infrastructure, which includes this segment of Dowling Ave North.


Describe any collaborative arrangements with outside project partners, including who they are and what their role is with the project:

This project is a high priority for North Minneapolis and has been in the planning phases for over a decade. Collaboration with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and CPED has resulted in several studies and plans for this area. The 2015 closure of the St. Anthony Lock and Dam no longer makes this site a viable shipping hub and it is in the best interest of the city to redevelop the site.


Planning


State Law Chapter 462.356 (Subd. 2) requires review of all capital improvements for compliance with the comprehensive municipal plan. Chapter 13, Section 4 of the City Charter requires Location and Design Review for the purpose of approving the sale of bonds for these projects.

Transportation: Minneapolis will build, maintain and enhance access to multi-modal transportation options for residents and businesses through a balanced system of transportation modes that supports the City’s land use vision, reduces adverse transportation impacts, decreases the overall dependency on automobiles, and reflects the city’s pivotal role as the center of the regional transportation network. This project is consistent with planning and policy guidelines set forth in the City’s comprehensive plan Minneapolis 2040.


Provide the date that Location and Design Review was conducted for the project, the outcome of that analysis and the date formal action was taken by the Planning Commission:

In 2018 the project was found consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan. No additional review is required.


Economic Development


Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base?

Supports substantial tax base growth.


Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Improvement of conditions on Dowling Ave North and construction of a north-south parkway will support redevelopment efforts of the City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal site.


Does the project support redevelopment opportunity that without the project would be infeasible?

Without this project, redevelopment and access to the city owned Upper Harbor Terminal site would be significantly diminished. The improvements to Dowling Ave North and the construction of a north-south parkway will support a transformative investment in riverfront property resulting in new job opportunities and growth of the city's tax base.

Transportation


Is the proposed project on an existing or planned transitway, transit route, or high-volume pedestrian corridor? If yes, provide details on how the project will improve the transit and/or pedestrian experience.

The western portion of this project (Lyndale Ave North to I-94) receives transit service from the following Metro Transit routes: 721, 724. The eastern portion of this project (I-94 to 1st St North) is not on an existing or planned transitway, however, providing transit service to the redeveloped Upper Harbor Terminal area will be explored by the project team and Metro Transit. This section of Dowling Ave North is expected to be a medium to high volume pedestrian route providing pedestrian access from the North Minneapolis neighborhoods to the Upper Harbor Terminal.


Does the proposed project anticipate multi-modal enhancements (sidewalks, bicycle or transit facilities)? Provide details.

Yes. This project will improve facilities for both pedestrians and bicyclists through pedestrian ramp improvements, addition of a boulevard along much of the corridor, pedestrian scale lighting, and the addition of off-street trails.


Is the right-of-way constrained and do you anticipate that modes of travel will be competing for space? Provide details, is there potential for innovative design options? Provide details

Yes, the right-of-way is somewhat constrained and the design will need to balance the needs of all modes to accommodate vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

Operating Impacts


Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance:

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Existing

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 60 Years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? 2022

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? Not Applicable

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? No

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: Not Applicable


Describe how operating cost increases or decreases were determined and include details such as personnel costs, materials, contracts, energy savings, etc:

There is no net change in the annual operating budget; Public Works will reallocate those dollars to aging infrastructure elsewhere in the system. In general, the cost to maintain an MSA type of roadway is estimated at $10,000 per mile per year. Given the 1.2 total miles of project length, the resulting change in operating cost is approximately a net decrease of $12,000 annually.


If new infrastructure, discuss how the department/agency will pay for the increased annual operating costs:

Regular crack sealing and other preventative maintenance treatments will be needed to keep the road surface in good shape.


For new infrastructure, describe the estimated timing and dollar amount of future capital investment required to realize the full expected useful life of the project:

Regular crack sealing and other preventative maintenance treatments will be needed to keep the road surface in good shape.

Project Coordination


Describe completion status for ongoing projects and how and when the department/agency plans to use the prior year remaining bond authorizations:

Not Applicable


If this is a new project, describe the major project phases and timing anticipated for completing the project:

Minneapolis Public Works anticipates preliminary design and public involvement to begin two years prior to the start of project construction.


Scalability/Funding Allocation Flexibility – discuss any flexibility to increase or decrease funding among the years in the five-year plan and the most that could be spent in a given year:

This project must begin by 2022 in order to meet state bonding requirements associated with the development site.

Minneapolis Goals and Strategic Direction

Minneapolis is a growing and vibrant world-class city with a flourishing economy and a pristine environment, where all people are safe, healthy and have equitable opportunities for success and happiness. Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Public Safety


Collaborative and community-inclusive strategies to ensure safety for all members of our community:

Increase accessibility of public infrastructure and public amenities.


Use design principles that ensure a safe and welcoming environment when designing all projects that impact the public realm.

Prioritize safety investments in line with the Complete Streets Policy.


Improve safety for pedestrians, and prioritize pedestrians over other road users, especially at street intersections; focus on signals, crosswalks, lighting, signage, visibility and lowering vehicular speeds through street design and other measures.


Public Health

The City has declared racism a public health emergency, noting that “racism in all its forms causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life”. Public Works recognizes the impact of racism in transportation systems and this project seeks to promote transportation equity and justice in accordance with the goals of the Strategic & Racial Equity Action Plan 2019-2022 by providing equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.


Environmental Justice:


The City prioritizes sustainable practices and renewable resources to equitably address climate change while restoring and protecting our soil, water and air.

Reduce the energy, carbon, and health impacts of transportation through reduced single-occupancy vehicle trips and phasing out of fossil fuel vehicles.


Plan, design, build, maintain, and operate the city’s transportation system in a way that prioritizes pedestrians first, followed by bicycling and transit use, and lastly motor vehicle use. (Complete Streets Policy. Adopted May 2016.)


Improve the pedestrian environment in order to encourage walking and the use of mobility aids as a mode of transportation.


Improve and expand bicycle facilities in order to encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation.


Improve access to goods and services via walking, biking and transit.


Support development and public realm improvements near existing and planned METRO stations that result in walkable districts for living, working, shopping, and recreating.


Proactively improve the public realm to support a pedestrian friendly, high-quality and distinctive built environment.


Improve the tree canopy and urban forest.


Improve air quality by reducing emissions of pollutants that harm human health and the environment.


Minneapolis has also declared a climate emergency that demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse and address the consequences and causes of climate change. Through the Transportation Action Plan, Public Works has stated its intention to drastically reduce the transportation sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and this program/project aims to develop networks that will bring a climate-forward transportation system for the people of Minneapolis.

Built Environment & Transportation:


The City prioritizes high quality neighborhoods, streets, infrastructure and equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.


The City of Minneapolis will promote design for the built environment that is dynamic and durable, reflects the diversity of Minneapolis residents, and contributes to a sense of place and community identity. The City will also proactively improve the public realm, including streets, sidewalks, parks and open spaces between buildings, to ensure that public spaces and private development are thoughtfully connected.


Achieving this goal also requires changes to the transportation system that make it easier to walk, bike or use transit to access daily needs. The City will proactively improve the pedestrian environment and continue to build and maintain a network of bikeways, while working with Metro Transit to increase the frequency, speed and reliability of the public transit system.


Additional Information

Add any additional information you feel is important for the CLIC committee, Mayor, City Council members or the general public to know about this potential project and why it should be approved:


Capital improvement projects such as this one, completes a corridor, enhances the commercial character of the area which helps preserve existing property values and enhances the City’s tax base. This project is needed to make the 48-acre City-owned UHT redevelopment site accessible for residents, workers, and visitors.