What Is Happening on Central Avenue?
You may have noticed that the Central Avenue median between 27th and 37th Avenue NE was stripped bare and cleaned in late September. For the past several years the median has suffered due to harsh weather, salt and plowing, occasional accidents and overall neglect. Many of the trees and shrubs along the median died off or were severely stressed, but a new plan is in the works to restore the median to a more natural state and resolve a number of long-standing driver and pedestrian issues.
The stripping and regrading is the start of the plan by the Department of Public Works to rebuild a new, sustainable median. The first step is to resculpt the median to hold rainwater better. The previous grading design caused much of the rainwater to run off the median into the storm sewer.
The new design will simplify the overall variety of plantings, increase sightlines for drivers and pedestrians and provide tree canopy coverage where necessary. The new plantings, along with a better design, should create a better looking median that is easier to maintain while eliminating some of the existing pedestrian and driving difficulties.
The Department of Public Works, Councilman Kevin Reich's office and the surrounding neighborhood organizations, including Waite Park, will be holding special meetings throughout the fall and winter to inform the public on the status of the project and solicit input. Look for more information in the coming issues of the Waite Park Voice and online.