The Saint Paul City Council on May 12 unanimously rejected a request from Madison Equities to close the skyway that connects its Park Square Court building to Mears Park Place for up to three years. Park Square Court, which has long housed businesses, is being converted to market-rate apartments or hotel rooms. Mears Park Place houses predominantly apartments.

The request was rejected by a skyway governance committee. Madison Equities tried to withdraw the request before the City Council vote after many people contacted city officials to oppose the closing.

Ward 2 council member Rebecca Noecker said the closing would cause a burden for downtown residents. While closings for construction are not unheard of in the skyway system, three years is longer than is usually allowed.

Some downtown residents with disabilities said that they rely on the skyway system and that the closing would create problems for them to get to and from their homes and other destinations. Under current COVID-19 pandemic orders, skyways now close at 7 p.m.

— Jane McClure

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