Construction on Highway 55 To Soon Benefit Golden Valley School
Construction on Highway 55 is underway. Its impact literally goes under the surface for Perpich Center for Arts Education, a state-funded public arts high school serving 11th- and 12th-grade students in Golden Valley.
Perpich students returned to school last week. The Highway 55 construction — on top of work on the school’s parking lot — is changing everyone’s route to and from school.
“I would say construction, in some way, has impacted every student,” Betsy Anderson, communications director at Perpich. “It has just required a little extra communication, a little extra planning on our part.”
Anderson said 60 percent of Perpich students come from greater Minnesota and the other 40 percent come from the Twin Cities metro. Many students live in dorms, while others commute.
Many are rerouted to the frontage road along 55. Signs around the school redirect traffic where drivers need to go. Anderson said the school worked with the city and state to make sure directions are clear.
Safe to Cross
Anderson said the hassle should be worth the wait. In the past, many students who took Metro Transit to get to school crossed Highway 55 to get there.
“It always has been compared to students playing Frogger to cross 55,” Anderson said.
A small, but impactful, part of the project will change that. That comes in the form of a pedestrian tunnel.
“That was always a concern of ours and a concern of the city’s for safety for our students, so this will eliminate that,” Anderson said.
The new pedestrian tunnel under 55 will help students and community members safely cross.
Anderson said that tunnel will be well lit and under surveillance.
Tunnel construction should wrap up in October. Before that happens, crews will shut down part of Highway 55 for 10 days. During that time, workers will take their final steps to complete construction.