St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood concerned about new construction

St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood has heard the word “temporary” before. Now, memories of life-changing construction are fueling concerns about an upcoming project.

“I’m not going to tolerate them taking any bit of this land, not a bit of it,” said resident Lucky Rosenblum.

Rosenblum received a letter from Ramsey County notifying him about looming road construction that will widen the Dale Street Bridge and its sidewalks and, in theory, improve safety.

However, the cost to property owners remains unclear.

“I think the letter is vague,” Carter said. “It certainly covers all the legal aspects of what you might need to communicate, but what we need is that personal communication.”

District 4 Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter said no properties will be taken during the project.

In Rosenblum’s case, the county says it’s looking for a temporary sidewalk easement. But, the history is hard to shake.

In the 1950s, construction of Interstate 94 helped turn a once vibrant neighborhood into a place still searching for a fresh start. But Rosenblum and his father stayed put, and the building where Tiger Jack Rosenblum made his living is still standing.

“There is absolutely no plan for his property to be taken in this project, and that is exactly where we stand,” Carter said.

The exact construction plan has yet to be finalized, with work set to begin by 2019.

Since last August, the community has held 10 meetings to discuss the Dale Street Bridge project. There are also about 1,000 people subscribed to the project outreach email list.