More than 40 miles of roadways were paved or seal coated in 2009

Dozens of miles of city streets and parkways were worked on by City crews in 2009, making it a very busy year for Minneapolis Public Works. From seal coating to complete road reconstruction, workers have been making significant progress restoring and improving streets in Minneapolis.

A total of 41.2 miles of streets and parkways were resurfaced or seal coated during this past construction season. Much of this work was due to funding from the $22.6 million Accelerated Infrastructure Program, which was approved by Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council last December.

In recent years, the City's street maintenance program could no longer keep up with the need to repair deteriorating streets around Minneapolis. In 2008, the Mayor and City Council approved using the City's rainy-day fund to add the Accelerated Infrastructure Program to its regular maintenance efforts. In just the first year of the program, Public Works crews have resurfaced or seal coated an extra 27 miles of roadway. By the end of 2013, one-third of all heavily-used City arterial streets and parkways will be improved.

Street projects are generally funded through the City's Capital Improvements Program and the general maintenance program. However, this funding was not keeping pace with the decline of street conditions. The Accelerated Infrastructure Program is helping get street projects worked on sooner, slowing the decline of street conditions and making better roadways for all drivers.

The goal of the 5-year Accelerated Infrastructure Program was to enhance the established Capital Infrastructure Program and the City's regular upkeep to address growing need for maintenance on streets, alleys, trails, light poles and signals.

Mayor Rybak and Public Works Director Steve Kotke discussed the 2009 construction season on Monday, Dec. 21, at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, which is on Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis. Both the hospital and the street have been undergoing major reconstruction. The City and Children’s Hospital have worked together to make sure Chicago Avenue could get rebuilt to serve everyone’s needs.

In addition to street maintenance, Public Works have restriped around three miles of streets to accommodate bicycle traffic. This includes dedicated bicycle lanes and shared bicycle-vehicle lanes. Crews have also disconnected 19 spots where stormwater enters the sanitary sewer system. In addition, about eight miles of water mains that deliver tap water to residents were cleaned and lined.

Published Dec. 21, 2009