Seal coating of Hennepin and First Avenues begins Friday, Aug. 7
Beginning Friday, August 7, weather permitting, crews will seal coat Hennepin and First avenues in downtown Minneapolis, creating a new driving surface and extending the life of the roadway. Seal-coating will be done one lane at a time, so although the work should not have major effects on traffic, drivers should be aware that there will be temporary lane closures while the work is done.
When a street is seal coated, a layer of tar and rock chips are placed on the street. Traffic is allowed back onto the new surface very shortly thereafter, and within several days, the excess rock chips are swept up. The seal-coating work on Hennepin and First avenues will take place over two days:
- Friday, Aug. 7 – Hennepin Avenue will be seal coated one lane at a time. Crews will try to have the road completed before the start of the evening rush hour.
- Saturday, Aug. 8 – First Avenue will be seal coated one lane at a time.
The seal coating is part of a project to convert Hennepin and First avenues from one-way to two-way traffic. After this seal coating, temporary tabs will be up in place to delineate lanes. Once traffic light and sign work to accommodate two-way traffic is complete later this year, both streets will be completely restriped for the new lane configurations.
Changing these streets from one-way to two-way operation was recommended in the Downtown Ten-Year Transportation Plan, which was adopted by City Council in June 2007. Advantages of having these streets two-way include:
- Two way streets give drivers more direct access to their destinations, leading to fewer "around the block" trips.
- The change will bring left turn lanes to Hennepin Avenue Downtown.
- Bicycle lanes will be added to First Avenue, with clear connections to and from Hennepin Avenue.
- Lane changing and weaving will be reduced along Hennepin, which is expected to improve public safety.
The Downtown Ten-Year Transportation Plan offers specific recommendations to improve how vehicles, transit, bicycles, and pedestrians get around Downtown. It’s part of Access Minneapolis, a citywide strategy to improve transportation over a ten-year period.
August 4, 2009
Published Aug. 4, 2009