Ayd Mill Road in St. Paul to see repairs, greenway in 2020

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St. Paul residents and those who spend time on the well-traveled Ayd Mill Road will get to see some changes to the roadway this year.

A divided St. Paul City Council on Wednesday voted, 4-3, to repair the road’s pothole-filled, crumbling pavement and add a greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians in 2020.

In February, the council approved a $7.5 million plan to fix the roadway and turn one of its four lanes into a greenway. In return, the Public Works Department had to complete traffic modeling and hold community meetings.

The council approved a $3.5 million mill and overlay of Ayd Mill Road last year, but plans changed when Mayor Melvin Carter requested $5.2 million in his 2020 budget to turn two of four lanes into a greenway.

The repairs are welcome news for Jacques DuBois, who lives in the neighborhood.

"I don’t like driving on it that’s for sure," DuBois said. "I try to avoid it if I can."

More from KSTP:

St. Paul City Council to mull $7.5M plan to renovate Ayd Mill Road

Lane reduction for vehicle traffic proposed for one of St. Paul’s busiest roads

St. Paul Bicycle Coalition co-chairman Ian R. Buck said they are thrilled that the project has been approved after many years of debate. But Buck said the design leaves some room for future growth beyond the new 12-foot greenway for bicycles and pedestrians.

"Having the 12-foot option is good enough for now, and hopefully, the design Public Works is using won’t prohibit us from being able to expand later on," Buck said.

"It was finally time, I’m excited, I feel good about it," said St. Paul City Council member Mitra Jalali.

Jalai, who represents the city’s Fourth Ward, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there were moments during the debate when she thought the project might not happen from objections from others on the council.

"I think we all felt dicey going into it because when something is really big like that it’s going to feel a little wily," Jalali said. "Nothing’s over till it’s over."

Carter issued the following statement to KSTP on the matter:

"The historic passage of the multi-modal Ayd Mill Road plan which will include a pedestrian and bicycle trail means a sustainable path forward toward an even more accessible transit-friendly city."

St. Paul Public Works has scheduled construction to begin in July and continue through November.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, click here.