City and community leaders celebrate start of landmark North Side connection

Work on an important connection linking the City’s North Side and South Side is now under way. The $22.3 million Van White Memorial Boulevard project breaking ground this year will serve to strengthen connections to jobs and recreational, cultural and educational resources throughout the city. The street will cross Bassett Creek and railroad tracks to connect the Harrison and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods to Interstate 394 and neighborhoods south of the freeway. City leaders and others will celebrate this vital link on Tuesday, June 12.

The Van White Memorial Boulevard Celebration
4 – 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 12

Corner of Fremont Avenue North and Second Avenue North

The street is named after the City’s first African American council member. Mayor R.T. Rybak, Council Members Lisa Goodman and Don Samuels, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin will join guests of honor Mrs. Javanese White and family to celebrate Van White’s legacy, the history of the area, and what is in store for surrounding neighborhoods.

For decades, Interstate 394 and a rail line have contributed to physical and cultural barriers between the North Side and the South Side of Minneapolis. The Van White Memorial Boulevard will literally bridge this divide with a 600-foot bridge span over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines and the Cedar Lake Trail.

The first section of Van White Memorial Boulevard was completed in 2002 and now serves as the main street for Heritage Park residential area.  When this project is completed at the end of 2013, the street will stretch from Interstate 394 and Dunwoody Boulevard in the south to Plymouth Avenue in the north.

The project compliments the city’s plan to de-concentrate family public housing in the city, create better access for residents to all areas of the city, and to spur development along the Basset Creek Valley.

 

Published Jun 11, 2012