Beautifying Brooklyn Center's Bass Lake Road

Brooklyn Center is undertaking a make-over for Bass Lake Road Streetscape and Regional Trail Project. The intention is to beautify Bass Lake Road from Brooklyn Boulevard to Highway 100.

Highlights of the project include building a pedestrian bridge and improving water quality by creating a nontraditional median design to filter and treat water that usually runs off into Shingle Creek, said Steve Lillehaug, Brooklyn Center's director of public works. There's an aesthetic element, as well. Planners want to snazz up the landscaping, install a pedestrian plaza and benches, paint the concrete, and improve the lighting. City officials hope the facelift will lead to other improvements in the area.

"There is certainly an appeal that if you build good things then other good things will come around it," Lillehaug said. "It's really to draw good developers to the city and to encourage existing property owners to keep up their properties. We definitely have vacant properties through that corridor."

Funds for the $4.2 million project came from a $2 million federal grant under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. Hennepin County kicked in about $400,000. Three Rivers Park District contributed $350,000 toward the regional trail and a new pedestrian bridge over Shingle Creek. The city will pick up the rest of the tab.

The project, slated for completion in October, is one of many steps Brooklyn Center has taken in its quest to make itself desirable to visitors, developers, businesses, and residents.

"I see the city going forward," [Mayor Tim] Willson said. "There are a number of properties to work on. We're just waiting for the economy to improve."

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