Columbia Golf Course and Park Stormwater BMPs Project Update – August 2021

Restoration work is wrapping up at the Columbia Golf Course and Park, but September will bring one final temporary traffic detour on Central Avenue NE (section of Minnesota State Highway 65).

Temporary Lane Closure

Beginning in mid-September, southbound traffic on Central Avenue NE will be reduced to a single lane immediately north and south of Columbia Parkway (see map). This temporary closure will allow for the construction of a stormwater pretreatment unit just south of the railroad crossing; this will be similar to the pretreatment unit installed in fall 2020 at 35th Avenue NE and NE Tyler Street.

This work is expected to conclude in mid-October. During this time, pedestrian traffic will be rerouted to the east side of Central Avenue between 35th and 37th Avenues. Bicycle traffic will be rerouted two blocks to the east, to Polk Street NE, between 35th and 37th Avenues. Signs will be posted indicating detour routes (see map).

The City of Minneapolis Road Closure Map will be updated prior to the lane closure.

Trails, Other Park Amenities Reopened

Many park amenities reopened in late July, including the newly repaved pedestrian and shared-use trails along 5th Street NE and the parking lot off of Columbia Parkway.

Park and trail users are asked to stay on the paved paths to avoid damaging the restoration areas. Newly seeded native plant and grass areas need time to become established and are sensitive to foot traffic.

Ongoing Project Impacts

  • Traffic: Visitors and commuters can expect to see an increase in truck traffic on Central Avenue NE through October 2021.
  • Golf Course: There is a temporary reduction from 18 holes to 9 holes for the 2021 season. In late July, 3 holes in the project area were ready and have been added as a small 3-hole play loop.
  • Columbia Park: The picnic shelter can now be reserved, and programming at the multi-purpose athletic field will resume after establishment of newly seeded turf.
  • Playground: The playground for younger children (on the north side of the path) was impacted by the project; community engagement will begin in fall 2021 to determine new playground equipment, with construction in spring 2022. Play equipment for older kids (south of the path) will remain.

Project Background

Project partners are working together to construct stormsewer improvements and a series of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on the Columbia Golf Course and Columbia Park. These BMPs will treat polluted runoff from a previously untreated 612-acre drainage area. In addition to keeping pollutants out of the nearby Mississippi River, the project will reduce flooding in both the neighborhoods located within the drainage area and the golf course itself, improve habitat, and enhance golf play and other recreational opportunities.

Learn more and see updated photos of the construction progress on our project page.

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