Local aves. to benefit from U funding

The University is contributing about $550,000 to the projects.

Alysha Bohanon

Talmage and Riverside avenues are getting makeovers, and the University of Minnesota is pitching in to help cover the costs.

The Minneapolis Public Works Department plans to reconstruct Talmage Avenue between 29th Avenue Southeast and 33rd Avenue Southeast, which is adjacent to the Como Student Community Cooperative. Thirty-third Avenue Southeast will also be redone between Como and Hennepin avenues Southeast.

The project will include new base material for the street sections, asphalt pavement, rebuilt curbs and gutters and added grass areas where possible, said Robert Carlson, an engineer for the city of Minneapolis.

The project is estimated to cost $1.9 million. The University has agreed to make a voluntary payment of nearly $193,000.

The Riverside Avenue project will include street lighting and road improvements, and the University will contribute about $360,000.

The Transportation and Public Works Committee voted Tuesday to accept the University’s payments.

Government units can impose charges, called “special assessments,” against property owners whose land directly benefits from public projects such as road reconstruction.

Because the University is a public institution, it doesn’t qualify for a special assessment. But the voluntary payment will cover the difference, Carlson said.

“What’s basically happening is the University is saying they want to be reasonable neighbors and pick up what others would consider to be their fair share of the payment, just like any other property owner,” he said.

The amount of a voluntary payment reflects how much the property is expected to benefit from the public project.

“We need to confirm that the property that is benefiting from that project … does increase in value by at least the amount the University is asked to pay,” said Susan Carlson Weinberg, the University’s director of real estate.

Construction on Talmage Avenue is set to begin sometime this spring. Work on the 33rd Avenue Southeast portion should begin this summer.

Work on Riverside Avenue will begin in late May.