Road improvements coming to Minneapolis this construction season
The construction season is under way in Minneapolis, and crews are already busy on a number of projects around town. By this fall, there will be smoother driving surfaces and new bike paths for residents and visitors to enjoy in many parts of the city.
This season, there are a number of major road projects under way that will improve more than 30 miles of roadway in the city. In addition, there are twice as many pothole crews out right now on the streets making repairs after a winter that caused a lot rough spots on our streets.
Some of the major projects include:
- Chicago Avenue – This is the final phase of a three-year project. By this fall, Chicago Avenue will be completely reconstructed from 8th to Lake streets.
- Interstate 35W detour route rehabilitation – Many streets used as detour routes after the August 1, 2007 collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River suffered more wear and tear than usual. As a result, $2.3 million in Federal Highway Administration emergency relief funding is going towards resurfacing or seal coating these thoroughfares.
- The Camden Bridge – This important bridge over Interstate 94 and the Mississippi River is getting some major renovations, including a new deck. Construction began last month and will continue into the fall. Minneapolis applied for and received $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the project.
- Bike trails – Minneapolis is a national leader when it comes to bike-friendly communities, with 44 miles of on-street bikeways and 84 miles of off-street bike trails. Another 35 miles of on-street bikeways are being built this year, nearly doubling the City's on-street bikeways. In addition, three new miles of off-street bike paths will be constructed.
- Pothole repair – The Mayor and Council approved funding to double the number of pothole patching crews for about eight weeks. So far those crews have placed enough asphalt to fill 23,000 potholes, and have completed 35 percent more miles of streets this spring than they would have otherwise been able to do.
- Alleys – Several alleys throughout Minneapolis are being resurfaced to improve the driving surface and provide better drainage.
This is the second year of the $22.6 million Accelerated Infrastructure Program, which supplements the City's existing infrastructure plan. Street projects are generally funded through the City's Capital Improvements Program and the general maintenance program. However, those projects were not keeping pace with the overall decline of street conditions. AIP increased the number of street projects done each year, slowing the decline of street conditions and making better roadways for all drivers.
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 City's traffic alerts. The City will also notify the local media about any major traffic impacts so they can share them with the public.
Published May 17, 2010