How the Nicollet Mall Project construction affects you

Nicollet Mall is going to look a lot different in 2017: refined pedestrian paths, more greenery and better lighting are some of the improvements to transform the Mall into a “must-see destination” as bullet-pointed in the Minneapolis Downtown’s Council 2025 plan. But before the new Mall becomes a reality, there’s the always-dreaded construction, which starts this spring with utility work (upgrading and relocating power, gas, telecommunications, sanitary sewer and water lines); the full construction begins in 2016.So what does that mean for the masses of people who bike, walk and work on Nicollet?The Nicollet Mall Farmers Market will be relocated one block to Hennepin Avenue for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Food trucks and vendors will also be moved off the Mall in 2015 and 2016. Sidewalk dining will remain open through construction, but some restaurants may decide to remove it temporarily at some points.You’ll still be able to walk down Nicollet and access every business—one side of the street will remain open at all times. Buses will detour starting sometime this May and will return to normal when construction is done in 2017. Taxis also are not allowed to drive down the Mall, and they will not be allowed north of 12th Street in 2017. With the absence of taxis and buses, bikers will have the street to themselves at least for 2015. In 2016, when the real construction begins, there will be no bikers allowed until the project is complete.Feeling a little bummed about the construction? Just flip through some of the photos above that represent the future Nicollet Mall to keep in mind when times get rough (see all photos here).Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading

Water’s Off volunteers provide plumbing repairs for low-income homeowners

SAINT PAUL“This is too good to be true,” Laurene Gruett said as Gerald Keating and Brett Sergot, members of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, repaired the basement shower and kitchen sink in her North St. Paul home March 21. “What a blessing. Keating and Sergot were among 57 volunteers from Local 34 who participated in the annual Water’s Off day of service. St. Continue Reading

7th Annual Augsburg Powwow

Augsburg College held its 7th annual traditional powwow on Saturday, March 28 in the Si Melby Gymnasium on campus in Minneapolis. The event was hosted by the Augusburg American Indian Student Association and American Indian Student Services. Continue Reading

Hops for Hunger

“We want to get into different types of fundraisers, not just pancake feeds and spaghetti dinners,” says Dave Rudolph, manager at the Southern Anoka County Assistance Food Shelf (SACA). With craft beer popular, what beer way than a local festival?On Sat. March 28, SACA will host Hops for Hunger III, a beer tasting event with live music, catering, and a charitable bent. Sixteen Minnesota breweries will be pouring samples to guests, including Dangerous Man, HammerHeart, and Fair State.It’s not just a chance for beer drinkers to sample some goods, though, the $35 tickets raise important funds and awareness for the hunger problems facing the local community. Hops for Hunger II raised $12,500 last year, and festivals 1 and 2 combined have bought about 175,000 pounds of food for the local food shelf.“We’re seeing a lot more people coming to the food shelf even though the economy is getting better,” Rudolph says. Continue Reading