The plank road at Mills Ruins Park on the Minneapolis riverfront, which has bedeviled drivers and adjacent residents, is finally going to be replaced — at a cost of nearly $190,000.
Work is set to begin this month on pulling up the oak planks that were intended to reflect the district’s history but ended up being a headache for the Park Board. Completion is scheduled for October.
Safety, maintenance costs and noise — in that order — did in the road, said Dawn Sommers, a Park Board spokeswoman.
The planks are on part of West River Parkway that follows much of the length of a now-filled canal that powered the city’s early flour and other mills.
The wooden road segment was installed in 2003. Cars slid on the planks when they were wet or frost-coated. The lag bolts screwed into pine beneath the oak worked themselves loose repeatedly. And the noise of vehicles rumbling along the boards bothered residents of adjacent condos, especially when the boards worked loose.
It’s too bad that there isn’t an alternative to the total removal of the planks. I think they added a lot of character to that stretch of the West River Parkway. The complaints are all valid though. I’ve lost many Segways over there because of how slick the planks would get in the rain.