With a new development going in at the intersection of Snelling and Selby Avenues in St. Paul, the conversation about how best to use the Ayd Mill Corridor is once again heating up.
With this in mind, we thought this would be a good opportunity to bring you up to speed on the long history of Ayd Mill.
According to the Ayd Mill road Task Force, the debate over how best to use the corridor has been going on for nearly 50 years. Originally identified as a link between I-94 and the soon to be built I-35E, Ayd Mill Road met neighborhood opposition to connecting the two freeways and lingered as a city road for nearly three decades.
In the early 1990s, the City of St. Paul undertook a study of the corridor and in 1999, the task force working on the study recommended that the corridor be converted to a linear park. The St. Paul Planning Commission elected to study Ayd Mill as a four-lane connection to I-94. Because of this struggle over the best use of the land, any movement ground to a halt.
In 2002 Mayor Randy Kelly ordered a test of Ayd Mill with a connection to I-35E on the south end. At the end of the test in 2004 Ayd Mill Road was left with the connection to I-35E. An additional extension north to Selby Avenue was completed in 2005.
Then, in 2009, the St. Paul City Council passed a resolution stating that Ayd Mill Road should remain a city street in perpetuity and the community should be involved in a process to look at the pros and cons of reducing the street to 2-lanes and extending the road to St Anthony Avenue.
Even as recently as three weeks ago, community members were split on what to do with the corridor based on a survey distributed by the Union Park District Council. We are sure this debate will continue for the near-term future and plan to keep a close eye on the conversation as it moves forward.