Officials to discuss Granary Corridor

The project faces several challenges and its future is not guaranteed

by Nick Sudheimer

Discussions on the proposed Granary Corridor — a road that would run just north of TCF Bank Stadium, connecting Minneapolis’ eastern border near Minnesota State Highway 280 with Interstate 35W — will continue at a community meeting next week.

City and University of Minnesota officials as well as residents will gather to discuss the uncertain future of the oft-delayed project.

Bill Fellows, the city’s project engineer for the corridor, said there are several alternatives for the corridor which need to be considered before the project is likely to receive significant funding.

At a minimum, the corridor would be a bike pathway from TCF Bank Stadium to I-35W with a small patch of road built just east of the stadium.

At most, the corridor would include a full road, bike path and greenway stretching from the eastern city limit to I-35W. City Councilman Cam Gordon said the corridor could play a lot of different roles, but it will depend a lot on securing funding.

“There’s been talk of making it a bio-science corridor. There’s more housing that could potentially come in. It’s been named a possible missing link to the Grand Rounds, connecting northeast Minneapolis with the Mississippi,” Gordon said. “But it just kind of depends on if we can hold onto the funds.”

Parts of the project have secured partial funding, but it’s possible those could go to other, higher-priority projects in the city.

Gordon said in addition to securing funds, negotiating with rail companies to purchase land will be a challenge, as will getting residents to agree on which design of the corridor is best.

 Still, even if a corridor alternative were selected, Fellows said the project’s future isn’t guaranteed.

“Work could begin as soon as two years … but don’t forget there’s also the possibility that this could never happen,” he said.

Gordon echoed Fellows’ doubt.

“I think parts of it could be built in the next five years. But I was at one point hopeful we could maybe have some of it built before Central Corridor went in, but that hasn’t worked out,” Gordon said.