Cleveland Avenue Phase 2 begins

By Anne Holzman

The Ramsey County project reconstructing Cleveland Avenue has entered Phase 2, the last half of a planned two-year project that adds bike lanes, sidewalks and multi-use paths along Cleveland between Larpenteur and Como avenues.

The $9.3 million project will upgrade stormwater and sanitary services, extend the east side sidewalk north to Larpenteur, add bike lanes and reconfigure parking.

Street lighting will be updated along the entire stretch. The bus stop on eastbound Larpenteur at Cleveland will be moved from the east side to the west side of Cleveland to improve accessibility.

Phase 1 stretched from Como Avenue to Buford Street. Major construction was completed last summer, but it still needs sidewalk paving, boulevard restoration and the final layer of street paving, according to Nick Fischer, county project leader.

He said the good news is that unlike last year, they are not seeing supply chain issues slowing down the work. Nevertheless, Fischer said, “This is a good sized to-do list and will take until mid-summer.”

Phase 2, begun in April, will repeat the Phase 1 sequence of utility work, road reconstruction and finishing. This phase has also involved Metro Transit in designing the new bus stop at Cleveland and Larpenteur.

Traffic detours

Through traffic is being detoured west onto Highway 280 between Larpenteur and Como for the duration of the project. Local traffic will have limited access along Cleveland in the coming months, depending on construction needs.

Fischer said the county has been working with the Bell Museum, which has a delivery entrance on Cleveland Avenue. The museum’s main parking lot entrance on Larpenteur will not be affected.

The gym and pool on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus will be accessible for the usual summer programming, Fisher said, but the parking and drop-off area will at times be down to one driveway instead of the usual two.

University of Minnesota athletic facilities manager Eric Loomis said they’ll run a full schedule of camps and lessons on the St. Paul campus but families should plan for traffic disruptions.  

“The university will coordinate with the county and their contractor and send out information to participants as the work progresses,” Loomis said.

The university’s Campus Circulator buses are being detoured, with stops closed at the St. Paul Student Center and nearby. Lonetta Hanson, assistant director at Parking and Transportation Services, said, “The bus will stop eastbound on Buford and Eckles by Coffee Hall. Signs are posted at alternative stop locations.”

Metro Transit bus route 87 will have temporary stops and detoured routes based on Cleveland closures, using Gortner Avenue as the north-south alternative. Riders can stay on top of bus route changes by checking the Alerts tab on the Metro Transit website.

On the Ramsey County website, anyone concerned about the project can subscribe to email updates. There is a page for Cleveland Avenue Reconstruction that lists updated traffic impacts, and concerned residents can call to report problems. Check it out at: ramseycounty.us/residents/roads-transportation/current-roadwork/2022-road-construction-maintenance/cleveland-avenue-reconstruction

Anne Holzman is a Twin Cities freelance writer who covers governmental news for the Bugle.

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