4050 Coon Rapids Blvd., Coon Rapids
Length: 550 feet
Developer: Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions
Architect: Pope Architects
Details: An extra-long skyway spanning Coon Rapids Boulevard, scheduled to be part of a $22 million expansion of Mercy Hospital, has received city approvals.
Hospital owner Allina Health System and building developer Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions last year got the go-ahead to build a 120,000-square-foot building across the busy four-lane road from the hospital, which will house its Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and include outpatient surgery clinical space.
While a skyway was always part of the concept, the initial plans didn't include one as Allina, Frauenshuh and the Anoka County Highway Department worked out traffic safety requirements.
Those talks have progressed to the point where the Coon Rapids City Council was presented with the skyway plans last week, which members OK'd.
The $4 million, 550-foot enclosed walkway is composed of three segments, including a 300-foot stretch spanning Coon Rapids Boulevard.
It is needed for surgeons using the new building, said Brandi Lunneborg, Mercy's vice president of operations.
"For them to be able to get across the highway efficiently to perform surgery on their patients was really important," she said.
Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at email@example.com.