Neighbors frustrated with lack of notice about sudden changes to Bryant Avenue project

Frustration with reconstruction of Bryant Ave S in Minneapolis

Frustration with reconstruction of Bryant Ave S in Minneapolis

Minneapolis officials are reworking part of a construction project in south Minneapolis because they say the original design has flaws.

Construction is underway in the heart of south Minneapolis to start phase two of the Bryant Avenue South reconstruction project, stretching from 42nd Street to Lake Street.

Public Works completed Phase 1, from 42nd Street to 50th Street, in the fall of 2022, but officials said there were flaws in the design.

“Our emergency services providers were having problems accessing properties down the street. Property owners were not able to pull in or back out of their driveways in a safe way,” Jennifer Hager, Minneapolis Public Works director of transportation planning and programming, said. “There are issues with our Phase 1 design, and that’s something that we missed.”

Neighbors added this past winter, no one could park on the street because the snow made the area too narrow.

RELATED: Proposed makeover on Bryant Avenue in south Minneapolis has some upset

City officials sent out a letter to residents on March 31, one week before construction began, to explain they were scrapping the original design and creating a new one.

One week later, the city held a meeting with the public to address the changes.

“We’re working very, very fast, and we could have done more and better to communicate with the public on this,” Hager said. “We are doing the best we can and we are scheduling those additional informational meetings to help get the information out there and answer the questions that the public has.”

The new design consists of:

  • Driveways aprons will be made wider to improve turning access in and out of driveways.
  • On-street parking will move to the right side of the driving lane, which will help prevent a driver from exiting or entering their vehicle along a snowbank.
  • The chicanes from Lake Street to 42nd Street will be removed from the design except for the 3700 block to allow consistent parking on the right side.
  • The current design has greenspace next to the roadway with the bikeway and sidewalk next to it; the update will move the bikeway next to the roadway with green space between the bikeway and sidewalk. This change moves the roadway snow windrow to the outside of the bikeway and provides space between the bikeway and sidewalk for snow storage.

City officials say the design conditions will allow for more efficient snow removal and better access for residents in the area.

Some residents explained they should have been included during the redesign process and not on the back end.

“I think the community having a say is definitely very important,”neighbor Jessica Kollauf said.

Public Works still has to fix the issues in phase one of the project. Hager explained it will cost more money, but they don’t know how much yet.

City leaders are holding a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. to talk about the redesign and answer questions from the public.