Central city tunnel construction

The City plans to construct a new stormwater tunnel below Washington Ave. S. in downtown.

Key information

Dates

2021-2023

Location

The new tunnel will be constructed parallel to the existing tunnel located under Washington Ave. S. between Nicollet Mall and Chicago Ave. We will enlarge an existing tunnel under Chicago Ave. between Washington Ave. and the river.

Downtown East Downtown West

Project overview

The City of Minneapolis Public Works Department will be constructing a new storm tunnel.

Goals

The goals of this project are to:

  • increase the amount of stormwater the Central City tunnels can handle
  • reduce the possibility of the existing tunnel failing

Additionally, a new tunnel will:

  • Reduce pressure in the existing tunnel.
  • Provide more room for future growth.
  • Reduce the need for future repairs.

Project location

The new tunnel will be constructed parallel to an existing tunnel. The new tunnel will be located under Washington Ave. S. between Nicollet Mall and Chicago Ave.

We will enlarge the existing tunnel, which is located under Chicago Ave. between Washington Ave. S. and the Mississippi River.

About the Central City Tunnel System

The Central City Tunnel System is a system of stormwater tunnels that are built deep into the sandstone ground in Minneapolis. The tunnels are approximately 70 feet below the street surface and collect stormwater runoff for nearly all of downtown.

Read the preliminary design study

Traffic impacts

Traffic impacts will include temporary parking and traffic lane closure in a one block area near each of four access points. 

Pedestrian and local access will be maintained. Detour routes will be posted during construction.

Expect additional noise, dust, and vibration as crews complete work.

Tunnel access locations

During construction, four access points will be used for tunnel access and construction staging.

  • Mill Ruins Park near the Mississippi River
  • 2nd Ave. S., north of Washington Ave. S.
  • Washington Ave. S., east of Hennepin Ave.
  • Washington Ave. S., east of Portland Ave.

Aside from the four tunnel access locations, construction of the new tunnel will occur underground.

View the access locations on the map in the resources provided below:

Project phase

Design for the new parallel tunnel is complete and construction is scheduled to begin in Fall 2021.

Input

Design

In Progress

Complete

Construction worker looking into Central City Tunnel
Workers inspect the old Central City Tunnel below downtown
Ice build-up in central city stormwater tunnel

Contact us

Minneapolis Central City Tunnel Project Team

Phone

612-888-9418

Joe Klejwa

Professional Engineer
Public Works

Phone

612-673-5608