Altogether, there will be three cloverleaf structures on the north-south stretch of the line, the one opened last month, the one at highway No. 7 to be completed next spring when state and federal funds are available and the one near the north end of the line, now laid out but waiting the development of the area. This last leaf will perhaps not be built for several years.
In Making Four Years
Four years in the making, the new highway when completed will be one of the largest projects undertaken by the state with matched federal funds and the aid of WPA.
Three Agencies Were Builders
Work on the belt line has been carried on under the direction of three agencies since it’s conception in November, 1933.
Originally started by the CWA and sponsored by the Hennepin county commissioners, the highway was to extend from Thirty-sixth avenue north as far south as Glenwood. Work was abandoned in March, 1934, and nothing more done until September of that year when the state took it over, widened the roadway to 60 feet and provided for service roads, one on each side. It was decided then to continue the line through to Excelsior boulevard and join with highway No. 100.
When the SERA took over the work, there was no sponsor until January, 1935, when the state highway department allotted funds for the erection of structures, surveying, and finishing the roadway after ground work was completed.
WPA Project Since ’35
Until 1935 when the work was taken over by the WPA with the sponsorship of the State highway department, from matched federal funds, the SERA expended $453,847.93 and the state share, expended through the highway department, was $161,630.24.
From October, 1935 to November 1, this year, the WPA has spent $1,467,283.11 and the state $891,381.45 on the highway.
Expenditures to date are $2,974,142.73 not including the cost of the work done by CWA in 1933 when the Belt Line was conceived and started.
In all probability more monies will be expanded before the road is complete, three separate applications having been sent to Washington within the last month for additional funds to complete structures at highway No. 7 and the Minnetonka Boulevard.
The states contributions include bridges at Bassets Creek, near Robbinsdale; the Minnesota Western bridge, Golden Valley; a culvert bridge this side of the Minnesota, Northfield and Southern railroad track crossing semi, the Superior Boulevard elevation and cloverleaf; the great northern bridge in St. Louis Park and the combined Milwaukee railroad and Minneapolis and St. Louis railroad bridge in St. Louis Park.
Additional bridges to be built by the state with the aid of WPA labor are the highway No. 7 elevation and clover leaf and the Minnetonka boulevard underpass.
Construction is under the supervision of the state highway department with the WPA doing the grading, beautification, and hauling, using a high percentage of hand labor.