ST. CLOUD - Work on a new parking ramp in downtown St. Cloud will begin in just a few weeks. One block of 5th Avenue North, between West St. Germain Street ant 1st Street North, will be closed to traffic starting April 1st.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says the 400-plus stall parking ramp will be built on the parking lot behind the Mexican Village and will go over 5th Avenue.  However, Kleis says the designs haven't been finalized yet for the other side of the road.

Kleis says the city council will approve the bids within the next 30 days, which will then determine if they'll expand the River's Edge Convention Center out to the parking ramp, or if they'll just make a longer skyway that connects to the existing building.

Fifth Avenue North will reopen under the parking ramp, after the project is finished next year.

The $11.6 million project is being paid for with the state bonding money, which the legislature approved last year.

This is one of several construction projects planned for downtown St. Cloud this summer. Work will also begin this spring on the $6.2 million Beaver Island Trail extension on the north side of the River's Edge Convention Center. And, the former Dan Marsh site could be under construction as well with a plan to bring a new condominium building to that location.

Photo by's Joshua Akkerman