Major Minneapolis construction projects under way
April 20, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) - Construction season is in full swing in Minneapolis, and this year more than 50 miles of Minneapolis streets will be repaired. City of Minneapolis leaders announced the 2009 public works projects today at a news conference along Lake of the Isles Parkway, the site of one of the major road renovations slated for this year.
"Too many of our streets, bike trails and light poles are in disrepair and we can’t wait any longer to fix them," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "We must act now, otherwise the problems will only get worse – and more expensive to fix. Even after millions of dollars in state budget cuts, the City of Minneapolis has kept our financial house in order, but we also must show that unmet infrastructure repairs are a debt that cannot be passed on to our kids. That’s why we not only maintained our street repair plan, but added $25 million more in our Infrastructure Acceleration Program to catch up on long-delayed projects."
2009 projects include road reconstruction, renovation and replacement; bike and walking trail construction and maintenance; and, sewer and stormwater improvements.
"Even though we are facing major budgetary challenges, it is imperative that we are able to maintain our infrastructure," said City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who is also co-chair of the Transportation and Public Works committee. "By working together with the mayor and Public Works, we were able to move forward with many of the projects that were planned for 2009 while also looking forward to 2010 and beyond."
Projects for 2009
Streets – Approximately 53 miles of streets will get a new surface in construction ranging from seal coatings to complete reconstruction. Among the biggest roadway projects are:
• MARQ2 – The reconstruction of Marquette and 2 nd avenues is a key component of transportation improvements Downtown. Both streets and the adjoining sidewalks are being rebuilt through Downtown, from 1 st Street to 12 th Street. The end result will bring better transit access, wider and greener sidewalks, and other improvements.
Hennepin and 1 st avenues two-way st avenues will switch from being one-way streets to handling two-way traffic. Along with restriping and traffic signal changes, crews will smooth out the surfaces of these streets with a seal coating.
• Chicago Ave. – This is the second year of a total street reconstruction of Chicago Ave. Construction will take place from Franklin to 25 th Street, and from 26 th Street to 28 th Street, meaning the street will be all-new from Franklin Avenue to Lake Street.
• Lake of the Isles – The last time this parkway was resurfaced was back in the late 1970s. Crews will be resurfacing all 2.8 miles of this roadway in four phases of construction.
Bikes and pedestrian ways – Presently, there are 123 miles of bikeways in Minneapolis, with Public Works projects adding even more this year.
• Non-Motorized Transportation Project – This is an ongoing effort that will ultimately add an additional 45 miles of bike lanes and bike paths to the city by 2010. Some restriping work will take place this year. Also, hundreds of bike racks will be installed throughout Minneapolis.
• Phase III of the University of Minnesota Bikeway – This leg of the bike trail will connect the east end of Bridge 9 to the U of M transitway.
• Hiawatha trail connection - This project will connect the Hiawatha Trail at 11 th Avenue to 3 rd and 4 th Streets near the Metrodome (as well as add a bike lane on 3 rd Street), providing a more direct connection between Downtown Minneapolis and the Hiawatha Trail.
13 th Street Pedestrian Gateway
Water and Sewer – Many city water mains, storm water drains and sanitary sewer lines will be improved to increase the quality of tap water and reduce the chances that sewer overflows will get into the Mississippi River.
• Water main cleaning and lining – Cleaning and lining projects will take place at six sites around Minneapolis, often in conjunction with other roadway work. When completed, seven miles of water mains will have a new concrete lining, extending the lifespan of the mains and improving the quality of tap water that runs through them.
• Stormwater and sanitary sewer – Minneapolis is continuing its work on projects to remove excess water flow from the sanitary sewer system to reduce the chance of untreated sewage getting into the Mississippi River. The Combined Sewer Overflow and Rainleader Disconnect projects are both designed to disconnect points where stormwater drains into the sanitary sewer lines, reducing the problem. Approximately 13 different sites are slated to be disconnected this construction season.
Many of these projects will require road closures, lane restrictions and detours. The best way drivers can find out about these traffic changes is by subscribing to the Citys traffic alerts online at Traffic Alerts. The City will also notify the local media about any major traffic impacts so they can share them with the public.
"We recognize that some of these projects cause a temporary inconvenience to our residents, businesses and visitors," said Public Works Director Steve Kotke. "But they will ultimately improve our roads, traffic flow, water and sewer systems, and that’s why we’re encouraging folks to stay informed on the status of these improvements and their effects on traffic."
For more information about Minneapolis 2009 Capital Improvement Projects visit Public Works.
Published Apr. 20, 2009