Parts of state Capitol Mall lawn to be torn up for temporary parking lots

Say goodbye — for now — to big parts of the pristine Minnesota state Capitol lawn.

It’s not drought-related: The Capitol Mall grass will be torn up and paved with asphalt to make temporary parking lots, possibly starting this week.

The major construction project under way on the historic state Capitol building has closed parking lots nearest to the building: Lots N and O, and Aurora Avenue. Construction equipment is being stored there, and workers want to preserve a safety building area around the work.

So those displaced parkers will be moved to the new lawn lots, along the western side of the grassy and memorial-filled Capitol approach.

The goal is to finish the building work by December 2016 and then restore the grass on the Mall by 2017.

It’ll all be worth it, though, says state Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk:

“Construction around the Capitol will cause inconveniences in the short-term but ensure a safe and functioning Capitol building and complex for future generations. Throughout the construction we are committed to keeping the Capitol open to the public and ensuring access to the legislative process.”

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