Funding the connections plan | Greenway bridges construction in 2017| Pollinator garden, murals and more

Hennepin County Community Works Midtown



Funding the connections plan: Partners adopt shared strategy

Making the Connection: Midtown Greenway to Lake Street plan cover

At their meeting this month, the Midtown Community Works Partnership took an important step toward implementing the Making the Connection: Midtown Greenway to Lake Street plan. 

The partnership, which includes members of the county board and Minneapolis city council, as well as private and non-profit partners, adopted a shared funding strategy. The strategy identifies potential sources to fund plan recommendations that advance revitalization of the corridor and continue wrapping up the work of the partnership.

Partners will review and pursue funding opportunities that best achieve needs of the corridor and fit their shared goals. This strategic funding approach is designed to maximize critical investments that realize the corridor vision and benefit residents, communities and businesses.

$530k approved for safer greenway crossings

Current greenway crossing at E 28th Street

The existing crossing at East 28th Street will receive several safety and functional improvements.

The Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) recently approved a grant submitted by Hennepin County to improve seven crossings on the Midtown Greenway. 

The grant includes major improvements to the crossing at Hiawatha Avenue, which is one of the most dangerous crossings on the greenway. The Hiawatha improvements were identified in the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works strategic framework. The other crossing improvements were Midtown connections recommendations, and include:

  • James Avenue
  • Irving Avenue
  • Humboldt Avenue
  • 5th Avenue
  • 28th Street East
  • Minnehaha Avenue

Proposed improvements range from installing new durable high-visibility crosswalk markings and enhanced traffic signal technology, to connecting sidewalk gaps and installing raised medians and curb extensions. These improvements will be implemented over the next several years.

Cedar and Portland greenway bridges to be reconstructed in 2017

Rendering of new bridge at Cedar Avenue greenway crossing

Rendering of the new Cedar Avenue bridge over the greenway. The new bridge is designed in line with the original historic style and includes several design and functional improvements.


Starting in early spring, Hennepin County will reconstruct the Portland Avenue (County Road 35) and Cedar Avenue (County Road 152) bridges over the Midtown Greenway.


Reconstruction is needed to address safety and structural issues due to the age of the bridges. Both of the century-old bridges will be reconstructed in their original historic style, and receive design and functional improvements. The work is expected to be complete by end of fall this year.


The roadways over the bridges will be closed for the duration of the project. Trail impacts will be minimized whenever possible, but occasional closures, detours and other impacts should be expected throughout 2017.


Visit to learn more and sign up for project updates.

New pollinator garden, murals coming to the greenway

A planned new pollinator garden will be planted at the base of the CEPRO Greenspace

Students from Andersen United Community School will work with Pollinate Minnesota to plant a new pollinator garden at the base of the CEPRO Greenspace on the greenway in 2017.


Two additional exciting community and partner-led projects were also recently funded for the Midtown Greenway.


Pollinator Garden at CEPRO Greenspace

Pollinate Minnesota received an $8,000 Hennepin County Green Partners grant to partner with 180 youth from Andersen United Community School to plant a pollinator garden at the CEPRO site on the Midtown Greenway. The garden will be a beautiful new natural resource along the greenway. It will also be a cornerstone to building new classroom curriculum on the life cycle of honey bees at Andersen school.


Two new murals coming to the greenway

The Midtown Greenway Coalition (MGC) announced that two new murals will be installed in the greenway this year. The coalition recently closed a call for artists of color for the first one, which is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


For the second mural, MGC is partnering with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and Little Earth United Tribes. With support from the Carolyn Foundation, the mural will be created by youth from Little Earth, working with students and staff from MCAD.


Summer employment opportunities for greenway youth

Local youth construct new stairs as part of the Tree Trust youth employment program

Tree Trust is looking to hire young people to complete outdoor improvement projects on the greenway and in park areas. Through this opportunity, area youth can earn wages, develop pride in their abilities, and gain skills valuable to future jobs. If you or someone you know might be interested in working with Treet Trust this summer, visit their website to learn more and apply.


You can also apply for this opportunity through the Minneapolis STEP-UP program, which places students ages 14-21 with barriers to employment in paid summer jobs at top area businesses and non-profits, including Tree Trust. The online application deadline for this year's program is Friday, February 10 at midnight. Learn more about STEP-UP and their youth application process on their website.