The St. Paul City Council approved a major street project on Raymond Avenue in south St. Anthony at its Nov. 2 meeting.
The $2.1 million project will narrow parts of Raymond, add bump-outs to decrease the length of pedestrian crossings, add new pedestrian crossings and medians, eliminate some on-street parking and add new lighting, sidewalks and curbs. Construction is set to begin in 2013 and take three to four months to complete.
The project will eliminate about 51 of the existing 112 parking spots on the west side of the street between Territorial and Hampden avenues and add about a quarter of an acre of parkland.The St. Anthony Park Community Council is working to form a group that will look at possible solutions to the loss of parking on the avenue. That group will begin meeting in spring 2012. Contact District 12 community organizer Lauren Fulner-Erickson at 651-649-5992 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be involved.
The plan to rework the street began in October 2004. In 2006, a proposal was submitted to the city’s Capital Improvement Budget Committee for funds for the project. Those funds were approved in 2011. The project also received a $1 million federal grant through the Metropolitan Council.Raymond Avenue was built in 1923 and, other than a new overlay of asphalt in 1956, 1982 and 2000, no work has been done on it since it was built, according to city engineer Paul St. Martin. The original pavement is nearly 90 years old.
Here are highlights of the project:
- Curb lines and parking will not change from University to Territorial Road. The street will be restriped and bump-outs will be added at all four corners of the Territorial Road and Raymond intersection.• Parking will continue on both sides of the street from Territorial to the Ellis-Bradford intersection. Bump-outs will be added at Ellis.
- Ellis and Bradford will be realigned. Currently, both streets come together to intersect at Raymond, creating a large pedestrian crossing. Bradford would be realigned to Ellis and Ellis would intersect with Raymond. The realignment will require the city to acquire some land from a townhome association at that intersection.• Bike lanes will be added between the Ellis-Bradford intersection and Long Avenue. That block is the only part of the avenue that at present does not have bike lanes. Parking will be permitted on the east side of the street only.• The intersection at Long and Raymond will be narrowed and Long will intersect with Raymond just south of the curve at that point of the road.
- From Long to Hampden Avenue, three medians will be added along Raymond with space to allow cars to turn into Bayless Avenue and the Hampden Park Food Co-op parking lot.
- Bayless Place will be extended to meet Raymond Avenue, and the intersection at Bayless Avenue and Raymond will be removed.
- The metro transit bus bay at the northwest side of Hampden will move to the southwest corner of Hampden and Raymond.• The island at Hampden and Raymond will be enlarged and landscaped.
- The project will include reconstruction of the water main, new sidewalks and new street lights from Territorial to Hampden. The lights will be the lantern-style lamps similar to those installed in north St. Anthony Park in the last decade.