By Patrick Dunphy
Drivers in Minneapolis can expect detours, delays and ultimately smoother streets and reopened bridges this summer as the city moves forward on its five-year, $27.5 million Infrastructure Acceleration Program.
The city will resurface 35 miles of streets and seal-coat another 34 miles of pavement. The closed Plymouth Avenue Bridge across the Mississippi River is expected to open in October, after crews repair its support pillars. The new Lowry Avenue Bridge, a Hennepin County project, is scheduled to open this summer.
Crews have already torn up Nicollet Avenue south of Lake Street as part of the two-year reconstruction of the avenue between Lake and 40th Street. The second phase, rebuilding Nicollet between 36th and 40th streets, will begin in the summer of 2013. Workers will replace pavement, widen sidewalks, and plant 150 trees. Local businesses will remain open during street closures.
Riverside Avenue will be reconstructed between 23rd and Cedar avenues in order to replace aging pavement and support higher traffic volumes. The first phase of reconstruction between Franklin Avenue and 23rd Avenue was completed in 2011. Construction should end by November.
The city will also resurface local streets in the Armatage, Near North, and Linden Hills neighborhoods.