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Lilac Way Timeline, 1928 - 19__
Engineer Carl Graeser appeared before St. Louis Park Village Council for consent
April 5, 1928 – Highway Engineer Carl Graeser appeared before the St. Louis Park Village Council to obtain consent to the plans and specs for Highway 5 (100).
Officials agree on plans to construct Belt Line
July 23, 1931, Minneapolis Journal. State and county officials had agreed on plans to construct Belt Line road along its western limits.
Graeser presents Lilac Way plans
July 20, 1932. Engineer Carl Graeser presented the Highway Department’s plans for Highways 7 and 100.
Route survey done
The survey was taken using two crews, one truck and World War I equipment.
Highway 100 construction begins
Highway 100 construction starts between Highway 5 in Edina and Highway 52 (now Highway 81) in Robbinsdale
The County started grading the first section of the new highway, which ran from Excelsior Blvd. south to 50th Street/Vernon Ave. in Edina.
WPA took over unfinished projects of the FERA
January, 1935. The WPA provided employment to thousands of construction and landscaping laborers. Machinery replaced hand picks used in 1934 and the number of Minneapolis applicants was not reduced. Construction increased from 20,000 to 120,000 yards per month.
Phase two of highway begins
The second phase of the highway was begun between Excelsior Boulevard and Wayzata Boulevard. Works Progress Administration (WPA) in January 1935, taking over unfinished projects of the FERA, which ended in June 1935. Construction was speeded up from 20,000 yards per month to 120,000 yards per month.
4,500 Men’s Bureau clients given physical examinations
Approximately 3,000 qualified to work on the largest Federal work relief project in MN.
First lilacs planted
The first lilac plantings, over 3,500, were made along two miles of highway between Glenwood Ave. and Medicine Lake Road in December 1935.
Soo Line overpass constructed at Highway 7
Actually two bridges spaced 10 ft. apart, they were described as “Vaguely Art Moderne in appearance, each pier has a raised vertical panel with streamlined vertical moldings at the center.”
1,500 men working on Highway 100 every day
One section of new Belt Line Highway opened
The opening of (one section of) the new Belt Line Highway was celebrated with a picnic in July, sponsored by the Golden Valley Commercial Club. Thousands gathered for sports events, a kangaroo court, and fireworks. The event also celebrated the renaming of Sixth Avenue North as Floyd B. Olson Highway,…
Highway Commissioner calls Lilac Way “one of the most beautiful in the world”
August 1937: The highway was not complete. However, the Minneapolis Journal reported that work was going to be accelerated so that it could be open between Excelsior Blvd. and Robbinsdale before winter. The State highway department said that the project would definitely be completed by 1938. Two bridges had yet to be…
Only bridges at Highway 7 and Minnetonka Blvd. need to be completed
As of January 1938, the bridges at Highway 7 and Minnetonka Blvd. were the only things to stand in the way of the opening of the new highway. It is now being referred to as Highway 100. An article claimed that an eight-foot sidewalk for pedestrians would border the highway,…
Highway Commissioner Elsberg calls Lilac Way “one of the most beautiful in the world”
The Highway 7 and Minnetonka Blvd. overpasses were completed.
Original Highway 100 completed
Work on the Original Highway 100 was completed in 1941. With the onset of World War II, workers and materials were diverted to the war effort.
Original section of the Belt Line completed
With the onset of World War II, workers and materials were diverted to the war effort.
Construction is completed
Included more than 7,000 bushes of 12 varieties of lilacs and thousands of other shrubs, vines, and trees.
Highways and roads combined for a 66-mile route around Twin Cities
In 1950, the Highway Department combined new highways and existing roads to form a 66-mile radial route around Minneapolis and St. Paul. For 15 years, this entire Belt Line was also known as Highway 100. The road was especially rough in South St. Paul, where it was comprised mostly of…
20,313 vehicles counted traveling on Highway 100
On one day in July 1951, 20,313 vehicles were counted traveling down Highway 100 north of Excelsior Blvd. At that time the speed limit on 100 was 50 mph.