Grand Rounds Missing Link
It was an historic moment over a century in the making. When the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners (MPRB) unanimously approved the Grand Rounds Missing Link route alignment on Sept. 3, 2008, the 125-year-old vision of Horace Cleveland took a major step forward.
In 1883 Cleveland, a landscape architect, took his idea for a continuous “green necklace” of parkways and open space around Minneapolis to the newly-formed Board of Park Commissioners. Over the decades it grew link by link to become the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway that today it features over 50 miles of parkway, bicycle and pedestrian trails and park amenities, and attracts over 14 million visits each year.
However, a three-mile gap remains in the area north of I-94 and east of the Mississippi River. Plans for completing the Missing Link were prepared in 1910, 1918, 1930 and 1939, but with no success. In 2007 the MPRB’s Comprehensive Plan designated completion of the Missing Link as a major initiative and work began anew.
The approved plan will connect East River Parkway with St. Anthony Parkway providing Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and adjoining communities access to parks, trails, paths and green space.
The route begins at Stinson and St. Anthony Parkway and heads east through St. Anthony along Gross National Golf Course. It follows Industrial Blvd. to E. Hennepin Ave., Weeks Ave. and 29th Ave. SE. It passes underneath the Burlington Northern railroad tracks to Kasota Ave. SE and bridges over the rail yard to connect with the new Granary Road proposed by the City of Minneapolis. It then follows 27th Ave. SE near the University of Minnesota and ends at East River Parkway.
The Missing Link study phase has been ongoing since June 2007. A Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) acted as liaisons with their respective communities, sponsored several public open houses and developed the recommended route.
The community input process evaluated proposed routes and designs, studied neighborhood impact, connectivity to existing and proposed bicycle and pedestrian routes, park and open spaces, and transportation corridors. Three open houses in June and July 2008 were held to receive public comments on the proposed alignment.
The Next Steps
A master plan has been developed that includes information relating to need, property acquisition, management, development concept, conflicts with other uses, operations, citizen participation, social needs and natural resources.
The master plan will be submitted to the Metropolitan Council Park and Open Space Commission for adoption into the regional park and trail system.
The Missing Link project will be eligible for federal, state and Metropolitan Council funding. Implementation will begin as funds become available. It is anticipated that completion of the Missing Link will take many years.
The Grand Rounds was designated a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration in 1998 and is the only designated all-urban Scenic Byway in the United States.
Ridgway Parkway Trail and Overlook
As the first implementation project to emerge from the Missing Link plan, the Park Board is pursuing design of a trail and overlook on Ridgway Parkway, between the Stinson Blvd. and St. Anthony Blvd. In September, 2012, the Board approved a contract for Preliminary Engineering with HNTB Corporation (see link below).
To comment on the proposed trail and overlook, use this online survey or contact the project manager.
Andrew Caddock, Project Manager | 612-230-6470 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ridgway Parkway Trail and Overlook
Missing Link Development Study (2008)
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For more information on the Grand Rounds call 612-230-6400.