Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tracks & Ties

Gosh, I'm lazy. I took this video last week and I am just now posting it. But if you scurry down to the Midway Shopping Center (Simpson to Hamline) you can see some track welding for yourself. This is the area where they'll be laying out and putting together all the long pieces of new LRT track, which will then be moved down the avenue and into place - about a thousand feet at a time! Notice the railroad ties spaced out on the ground to hold the track.

If you listen carefully you can hear another bus rider exclaim something about it being for the train (I remember this being totally hilarious in person, but it is pretty muffled) - then later asking when they will be done. The bus driver says (unenthusiastically) 2014. Ok, sort of true, but most of the construction in the Midway will be done by Thanksgiving. I shake my head a lot on the bus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New delivery

Some big piles of LRT track appeared today! I hear they'll be assembled near Midway Marketplace and transported down the avenue for installation.

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Bridge Out

Last week was rainy and cold, so not a lot of new work to report. But there was a fairly big bridge closure this past weekend, as crews scooped out the eastbound center lane of the University bridge deck over 280. It was kind of a cloudy day, but perhaps you can see all the bridge guts laying on 280 below (I'm looking from the Franklin bridge north).

The fencing and plywood on the bridge itself have done a shockingly good job of blocking the giant hole-in-the-bridge view for passing vehicles. Minnesotans are a little suspect of bridge work these days...a think a void next to your car or bus is understandably alarming!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New to the neighborhood

A couple visible additions to the street this week:

Getting all official and stuff.

My future westbound platform at Emerald. The crews started digging the area for the station substructure this week. That smooth flat area is about where I think the platform will be. Woo! Stay tuned for more station updates...

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Location:Emerald & University

Friday, May 6, 2011

Move over, Lake Street

I've always said that you can get anything you need on University Avenue. That's a lie. You couldn't always get good Mexican food - until now.

Homi opened at Victoria in 2010, and for some reason, it took me this long to get there. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, so we decided there was no better time to check it out.

We were happy to see that everything was on special for the weekend, but were even more excited to find that half the menu is less than $7.99 anyway. So we picked up a couple kinds of antojitos and tamales to take home and share. Everything also came with beans, rice, salsa, and crema. Delish. Another mark of the real deal - you can get horchata by the pitcher.

Needless to say, this casa of cheap, homemade, authentic food may be my new favorite Mexican restaurant anywhere in the TC. Can't wait to go back and try the enmoladas. Mmm.

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Location:Victoria & University

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let's see what you're made of : Part 2

On my way to work this morning I saw something pretty remarkable - construction workers pulling out granite pavers AND streetcar track in one smooth move:

Unfortunately we flew by too quick to take a video. Luckily, I happened to be at a meeting this afternoon out near Eustis, so I got the chance to go hang on the fence and see more excavation - namely what's under the granite. Spoiler alert: it's wood.

Really icky, contaminated wood, I'm sure. How long do we think that's been down there?

It was a paver-heavy kind day apparently, since my meeting out at Eustis was to take a look at the samples of what's going into the outer edge of the new University sidewalks (part of that whole day job thing). Here is the sneak preview, folks!

Coming to a sidewalk near you!