Great Northern Greenway River Link

A RiverFirst Signature Project

At first glance, the dead end of 26th Ave N at the Upper Mississippi Riverfront isn’t much to look at, much less a place you’d choose to go. But its potential is huge, a fact uncovered after the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board asked RiverFirst designers to explore “what could be” at the east bank of the Mississippi River and the center of the future cross-Minneapolis Great Northern Greenway.

RiverFirst: Farview Park Extension

RiverFirst identified a two-block long landbridge covering I-94 as a 20-year Visionary Project to reknit North Minneapolis with the Mississippi River. The 26th Ave N Greenway and the Great Northern Greenway River Link are interim steps establishing a re-connection from the neighborhood, especially Farview Park.

Situation

Small in scale, the future Great Northern Greenway River Link will have a transformative impact on the Minneapolis Park System in North Minneapolis. It’s location at the eastern end of 26th Ave N makes it a natural pivot point bringing parks users and bike commuters from North and Northeast Minneapolis across the city and into Downtown.

In addition, the site’s location on the Mississippi River offers an opportunity to create a new riverfront amenity in North Minneapolis. By locating the new park at this juncture, the Great Northern Greenway River Link extends the existing Ole Olson Park north and creates a staged re-connection of Farview Park to the river.

Preliminary Concept

Together with the site’s trail connection, two new features would make it a destination. A lighted and amenitized pier, extending at street level over the river’s edge, would provide visual access to the river and facilitate fishing and informal gatherings. And new plantings along the roadway, bike path, and shoreline would help create a sense of “place,” while contributing to stormwater filtration.

Key Milestones

  • 2016-2017 – Community engagement and schematic design
  • 2017-2018 – Project scoping and construction documents
  • 2018 – Groundbreaking

Related Projects & Places

RiverFirst
Water Works
26th Ave N Renovation (City of Mpls)
Farview Park (MPRB)
Orvin “Ole” Olson Park (MPRB)