On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Could interstate lids unify University neighborhoods?

Share story

Constructing interstate lids over I-35W would better connect the Dinkytown and Marcy Holmes neighborhoods near the University of Minnesota, says a Minnesota Daily columnist.

Chris Iverson, senior in civil engineering and urban studies at the University, says the features would make the freeways less of a divider between the areas and make it easier for pedestrians to get from one to the other.

Instead of replacing an ordinary bridge with another simple bridge, the city could create space along each side of the road to hold retail or park space. Instead of just building a bridge deck to hold road traffic, we could extend the deck outward over the interstate. Interstate caps are supposed to make a traveler feel like they are not actually crossing over a busy highway but are instead still in the city landscape.

This may seem like an idealistic and unrealistic goal, but these highway caps exist and thrive in other areas around the country. The first highway cap ever built is in Seattle. Seattleites built Freeway Park in1976 to help mend two divided sections of downtown Seattle.