Expect traffic and bus detours as road work picks up on Marquette and 2nd avenues

With warmer temperatures on the way, increased construction activity will be underway along Marquette and 2nd avenues in downtown Minneapolis. Weather permitting, road work will take place around the intersection of 2nd Avenue and 4th Street starting on March 16.

This construction will require lane restrictions on 4th Street South between Nicollet Mall and 3rd Avenue South for approximately three weeks starting on March 16, buses will move from Marquette and 2nd avenues to 3rd, 4th and 5th avenues south. www.metrotransit.org.

In a few weeks, sections of Marquette and 2nd avenues will close to through traffic and remain that way for much of the summer (although a single lane of traffic will remain open at all times for building and parking ramp access). Drivers should expect delays on these streets as everyone becomes accustomed to this change in traffic.

The reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd avenues (MARQ2) will add additional transit lanes to accommodate many express buses being taken off Nicollet and 3rd avenues, widen sidewalks, and improve the streetscape. The improved roadway will reduce peak bus traffic on the mall by about 35 percent. The dual transit lanes will also significantly decrease the time it takes buses to get through downtown.

When construction is complete, bicyclists will be able to use the Nicollet Mall 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The reduction in peak period buses, coupled with the change in buses from diesel to hybrid electric, will make the Mall a quieter and more pleasant environment for pedestrians and sidewalk cafes.

Published Mar. 13, 2009