Contact: Casper Hill, (612) 673-2342
Coming this construction season:
70 miles of paved or seal-coated streets
Minneapolis’ investment will improve driving for residents, commuters and visitors
May 15, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) This road work season, the City of Minneapolis will be reconstructing, resurfacing and seal coating 70 miles of streets and parkways. About a quarter of this work will be done using funding from the City’s five-year, $27.5 million Infrastructure Acceleration Program.
“In just four years, 112 additional miles of streets have been improved through the Infrastructure Acceleration Program, and another 18 miles will be added this year,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “This, in addition to the streets that have been resurfaced as part of our regular construction plan, is making a huge difference in the quality of our streets.”
The Infrastructure Acceleration Program supplements the City’s existing infrastructure improvement plan, which had not been keeping pace with the gradual decline in street conditions. The Infrastructure Acceleration Program increased the number of street projects done each year, slowing the decline of street conditions and making better roadways for all drivers.
Overall this season, crews will resurface 35 miles of streets in Minneapolis, and one mile of streets will be completely reconstructed. Another 34 miles of streets will be seal coated, which helps extend the lives of streets that are currently in fairly good shape.
"Driving just on Minneapolis streets and parkways you can travel 1,100 miles, enough to get you all the way from here to Atlanta,” said Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy, who chairs the Transportation and Public Works Committee. “These roadways will get a lot of attention this summer. By doing as much road work as possible now, we can take advantage or the relatively low costs and reduce our maintenance needs in coming years. Construction season requires some patience, but residents will soon be rewarded with smooth new roads.”
Nicollet Avenue reconstruction
The biggest new project this season is the reconstruction of Nicollet Avenue South, from Lake Street to 40th Street. Over the next two construction seasons, crews will be replacing the roadway and curbs, adding wider sidewalks and better streetscapes as well. This year’s work will take place on the southern end of the roadway, from Lake Street to 36th Street.
“The improvements we have in store for South Nicollet seek to make driving and walking along this street a better experience,” said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, whose ward will be involved in construction next season. “Along with a new driving surface and curbs, we’re creating boulevards that will ultimately provide more space on our sidewalks. We’ll also be adding more than 150 trees along the street and making other improvements to the streetscape. When this project is done next season, this stretch of Nicollet will look more inviting.”
Businesses along Nicollet Avenue will be open throughout construction. Customers will be able to reach them using side streets outside of the construction zone.
“We are all trying to shop local to support our businesses,” said Council Member Meg Tuthill, whose ward includes the section of Nicollet that will be under construction this year. “But the construction on top of the slow economic recovery is a double whammy for the businesses on Nicollet Avenue. Now, more than ever, these businesses need our support. Shop Early! Shop often!”
Other major projects of the season include:
- Riverside Avenue - This is the final year of Riverside Avenue’s reconstruction. The street will be paved from 23rd Avenue to Cedar Avenue this season. Around 15,000 vehicles drive on Riverside Avenue every day: a number that is expected to climb with the permanent closure of Washington Avenue on the University of Minnesota.
- Plymouth Avenue Bridge - Repairs to the bridge over the Mississippi River will begin this summer, and the bridge is expected to reopen to vehicle traffic in mid-October.
- Neighborhood paving projects – Residential streets are often paved as groups. The following neighborhoods will have significant repaving work done:
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 online at www.minneapolismn.gov/publicworks/traffic. The City will also notify the local media about any major traffic impacts so they can share them with the public.
For more information about Minneapolis’ 2011 Capital Improvement Projects visit www.minneapolismn.gov/publicworks.
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Published May 15, 2012