MWMO awards grant for street reconstruction project

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MINNEAPOLIS — A nearly one-mile-long street reconstruction project on the border of Columbia Heights and Minneapolis will include a number of stormwater and habitat improvements, thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO).

The Cities of Columbia Heights and Minneapolis plan to reconstruct 37th Avenue NE between Central Avenue NE and Stinson Avenue NE starting later this year. The MWMO will provide $436,000 from its Capital Project funds for the construction of 27 curbside bioswales and tree trenches that will run the length of the reconstructed roadway. These features will include pollinator-friendly native plants and trees and serve to capture and clean the area’s stormwater runoff.

“This is a great opportunity to add value to a street reconstruction project by using green infrastructure to provide water quality and habitat improvements,” said MWMO Executive Director Kevin Reich. “We’re pleased to help our city partners go above and beyond regulatory requirements and implement a design that is good for people and the environment.”

Storm sewers in the area drain to the Mississippi River. The addition of green stormwater infrastructure along the roadway will keep an estimated 13 pounds of total phosphorus and 2,632 pounds of sediment out of the river each year. The project also provides ecological benefits by creating pollinator habitat, similar to the nearby Hoyer Heights Tree Trenches.

The project will also include bike and pedestrian improvements as well as utility and traffic signal upgrades (not funded by MWMO). More information about the street reconstruction plan is available on the City of Minneapolis website.

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