Walkers and gawkers want to know – What’s happening on Stinson? The heavy equipment, the incessant noise, the flock of city employees digging up the boulevard – worth a check. And so I did.
It’s a good story of progress and collaboration. The workmen who are Minneapolis city employees are working to improve the street lighting system, not only on Stinson but throughout the 61 miles of parkway that shape the city. They will string new safer wiring underground, then construct new foundations for each of the street lights. Safety is the first concern since the wires they are replacing are 30-40 years old and showing the inevitable results of an aging infrastructure.
The Park Board didn’t have the heavy duty equipment, especially the borer, that the job required so, though the parkway system is under the control of Park and Recs, the City is doing the work.
The challenge is to get the job on Stinson done before the ground freezes. We can only hope that the weather cooperates – we know the workers are going full speed, even if it doesn’t always appear that way. When I talked with the workers this morning they were probing in a small hole they had dug in what seemed to be an arbitrary spot. Turns out they were actually trying to locate the gas line into a house along the Parkway, a line they had to find before they could get into serious digging. They were not, one workman assured me, merely “playing in the mud.”
Though progress may be noisy, messy, and confusing to the gawker, the interruption is a small price to pay for a safe lighted Parkway that serves neighbors and commuters especially through the dark days of winter.