Edina, Minn., Oct. 11, 2018 – Though development of a “lid” over Minnesota Highway 100 might have great benefit in the future, the Edina Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) made clear at its Oct. 11 meeting that development of the Grandview Green is not an immediate priority and directed staff not to spend any more money on the concept.
While important for regional mobility and commerce, the state highways that divide Edina into four primary quadrants have inadvertently created barriers that hinder connectivity among some of the community’s local neighborhoods. Expanded bridges frequently referred to as “land bridges” or “highway lids” are one means to unify neighborhoods by increasing access on local roads and trails without hindering regional mobility on the limited access highways. Potential opportunities to take advantage of existing topography to better connect local neighborhoods exist at a few points along Minnesota Highways 100 and 62.
The HRA conducted a preliminary concept study of the feasibility of constructing a lid, dubbed the “Grandview Green,” over a limited portion of Highway 100 in the Grandview District. The construction of the lid, if viable, would help accomplish many of the Seven Guiding Principles established in the Grandview District Development Framework. The conceptual studies conducted to date suggest that additional public green space could be created and un-used Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) highway right-of-way could be transformed into productive uses without hindering regional transportation needs.
The 2016 Grandview Transportation Study characterized the concept of a “lid” in the Grandview District as a “Far-Term Plan” occurring as much as 30 years in the future that could not happen before improvements to current transit systems and transportation-related technologies occur. Pursuing a concept like a lid will require the coordination of several governmental agencies and the support of the local community. Additional community engagement as well as substantial engineering design is required in order to establish the parameters of a redevelopment project that satisfies the needs of the impacted stakeholders and delivers a community benefit.
The HRA at its Oct. 11 meeting approved a statement for inclusion in the City’s updated Comprehensive Plan that reads, in part, “although the City’s long-term planning should continue to consider this Grandview Green concept as one potential means of improving the Grandview Commercial District at some point in the future, it is not a part of near or mid-term changes envisioned for this District.” Commissioners also directed staff to suspend further expenditures on the concept, including funds to engage consultants to advocate for changes in State law to facilitate financing and negotiate lease language with MnDOT.