By Kristina Busch
In an effort to improve county transportation, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners awarded $748,000 for bikeway projects and $170,225 for sidewalk projects.
Brooklyn Park, Plymouth and Dayton were awarded funding for bike trail construction, Deephaven and St. Louis Park received funding awards for feasibility studies of bikeways, and Hopkins and Medina were awarded funds to close bikeway gaps.
Three Rivers Park District was awarded $220,000 for construction of improvements for trail crossing at intersections along the Dakota Rail Regional Trail and feasibility studies of bikeways.
In relation to sidewalk projects, Edina and St. Louis Park received $75,600 in funding awards for sidewalk construction along France Avenue.
Minneapolis was awarded $12,500 for a citywide study of pedestrian crossings at county roadways, and Rogers was awarded $61,250 for sidewalk construction and pedestrian crossing improvements.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Boarded was awarded $20,875 for sidewalk construction along Franklin Avenue.
The board also awarded Concrete Idea, Inc., a St. Michael-based concrete contractor, a $437,933 contract for the construction of 42 pedestrian ramps and modifications to four traffic control systems in Minneapolis and Wayzata, which will enhance accessibility to sidewalks for people with disabilities and meet guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The adjustments will be along County Roads 40, 66/81 and 152 in Minneapolis and County Road 101 in Wayzata.
In addition, the board approved an agreement with Rogers to contribute $800,000 to a $2.5 million project that will improve County Road 101 and County Road 81.
In other board news, in support of a multilingual telephone line, which connects immigrants and refugees to government services in Minnesota, the board accepted approximately $100,000 in grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The Hennepin County Office of Multicultural Services provides phone response services in 12 languages to individuals with limited English proficiency countywide. Roughly 7,000 households use this language referral line every year.
Additionally, Commissioner Marion Green was appointed as county representative to the Metro Mobility Task Force by the board. The task force will work to increase the Metro Mobility program, which is a shared public transportation service for individuals with disabilities and health conditions, in productivity while minimizing costs and improving services, as well.
The board – along with other communities in the U.S. and Canada – also declared July 16-22 Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Appreciation Week, in efforts to recognize the employees and volunteers of Hennepin County Adult Field Services and Juvenile Probation. The staff supervises more than 24,000 clients every year, which is almost half of all Minnesotans under supervision. The services and staff aid clients with resources to prevent re-offense.