Minneapolis wraps up major milestone on downtown’s transportation transformation
Downtown Minneapolis construction comes to an end, open for business
October 19, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) – A major construction project reshaping downtown Minneapolis is nearly complete, and Minneapolis is welcoming people back after a summer of construction. Marquette and 2nd avenues and their sidewalks are all new and are designed to improve how you get around, whether you walk, take transit, or drive. The vast majority of work is complete, the traffic lanes are reopening, and all sidewalk work should be finished in the coming days.
Marquette & 2nd avenues have been reconstructed as unique transit-ways that make taking the bus faster and more convenient than ever. When buses return in the coming weeks, each street will include two dedicated lanes for buses, allowing them to pass each other and decrease travel times through Downtown. New bus shelters, real-time transit information displays, and wider sidewalks with more trees will make riding the bus a much more appealing option for commuters.
"The re-creation of Marquette and Second Avenues into pedestrian-friendly transit malls is part of sweeping re-thinking of how people will get around downtown," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Downtown residents, workers, and visitors have put up with some construction this summer, and we appreciate their patience as we worked to get this done on an incredibly fast timeline. Now, Marquette and 2nd avenues are open to traffic, and the sidewalks will be completely finished very soon. When buses return to these streets, we’ll truly see a reshaping and improving of transit Downtown."
"Just two years after adopting our 10-year transportation plan for Downtown, we’re already seeing many of our planned improvements become reality," said City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy, who chairs the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works committee. "This project is a key piece of a dramatic reshaping of transportation that takes into account drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and bus and train riders. No matter how you get into and around Downtown, these are changes that will make your downtown experience better."
The reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd avenues is a key piece in a transportation transformation that’s going on Downtown. Hennepin and 1st avenues have recently been converted to two-way streets, a move that has helped revitalize business districts in other cities. Nicollet Mall will carry fewer buses, bicycles will have better access to Downtown, and pedestrians will have new amenities. In addition to City of Minneapolis improvements, Metro Transit, Hennepin County, and others will also complete exciting new projects that will change Downtown transportation. Those include Northstar Commuter Rail and an extension of the Hiawatha Light Rail.
To find out more about transportation improvements that are changing the way people get into and around Downtown, visit www.TransformingMinneapolis.org. On the site, you can read about projects, see renderings and videos, and download or listen to audio recordings on the unique features of the transportation transformation. You can hear the same informational messages by calling (612)673-2424.
Published Oct. 19, 2009