Commuters in northeast Minneapolis will have it more difficult for the next few months as work on reconstructing a railroad bridge over Central Avenue began Monday morning.
The closure went into effect at 9 a.m. and affects Central between 14th and 18th Avenues NE. The closure will be in effect until fall when work on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Bridge is expected to be completed.
Metro Transit routes 10 and 59, which operate on Central Avenue, also will be on detour during construction. More on that below.
While MnDOT has a prescribed detour, look for heavier levels of traffic on University Avenue, the other north-south thoroughfare between the northern suburbs and downtown Minneapolis. We will see how this plays out tonight with the first evening rush hour as northbound drivers try to navigate through Northeast.
Another option to get to and from Minneapolis and Fridley, Columbia Heights and points north would be to use Marshall Street and East River Road.
The official detour for drivers: Northbound Central Avenue will be detoured at Broadway Street, then east to Johnson Street, north to Lowry Avenue then west back to Central Avenue.
Southbound traffic will be sent west on Lowry Avenue to University Avenue, south on University to Broadway, then east back to Central Avenue.
Pedestrians and bicyclists will be directed along 14th Avenue to Van Buren Avenue to Monroe Avenue to 18th Avenue.
Here is the rider alert from Metro Transit that affects Routes 10 and 59:
Northbound buses will travel regular route on Central Ave to Broadway St, right on Broadway, left on Fillmore, left on 18th Ave NE, right on Central and resume regular routing.
Southbound buses will travel regular route on Central Ave to 18th Ave NE, left on 18th Ave NE, right on Fillmore, right on Broadway, left on Central and resume regular routing.
Buses will not make stops along the detour route, Metro Transit said.
Here is a little history and summary of the project:.
The railroad bridge between 14th and 18th Avenues NE was built in 1924, making it 90 years old. No wonder it needs some work. MnDOT will build a new crossing and then the current structure will be retired.
The new bridge also will have a higher clearance than the current structure. While it's being build, MnDOT also will construct new sidewalks and retaining walls along Central Avenue, and give the roadway a fresh coat of asphalt.