Downtown repaving nearing completion

An ambitious paving season for downtown Minneapolis is almost complete. Weather permitting, the final two streets targeted for improvements will be resurfaced this month. When that work is complete, more than 50 blocks of downtown streets will have smoother driving surfaces.

Since the start of the construction season, crews have resurfaced stretches of 3rd, 5th and 7th streets, as well as portions of 4th and 5th avenues. Starting this week, construction will focus on 7th Street South from Hennepin Avenue to 5th Avenue. When that work is completed this weekend, work will shift to 6th Street South. If weather cooperates, the final length of the downtown paving will be completed on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The affected streets will get a mill and overlay treatment, a process that involves removing the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with a new driving surface. This work should extend the lives of these streets by a decade. Bicycle lanes will be added to some of the streets, improving bike access to downtown.

These resurfacing projects are in addition to the seal coatings done on many downtown streets. A number of streets in relatively good condition were seal coated to add years of life to the driving surfaces.  When you factor in the streets we’ve paved or seal coated these past few seasons, along with the ones paved by Hennepin County, well over half of the streets in the downtown core will have driving surfaces that are three years old or less.

Drivers should be aware that there will be periodic closings and detours throughout downtown Minneapolis as this paving work takes place. However, much of the construction will take place during non-peak traffic hours. Plus, weekday construction will generally be performed on one side of the street at a time so the other side can remain open to traffic.

Published Sep 6, 2011