Residents who live along Park and Portland avenues in south Minneapolis, breathe easy. You won’t have to find other places to park your car Monday when rush-hour bus lanes take effect.
There was talk of eliminating parking on the Park and Portland during rush hours to allow for the bus-only lanes during the reconstruction of nearby Interstate 35W. But that never got final approval, said Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman David Aeikens.
Instead, the traffic lanes were re-striped to retain parking space, a bike lane and the traffic and bus lanes.
“Everything will just be tighter,” Aeikens said.
Metro Transit buses and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority buses will have their own lane between Lake Street and downtown Minneapolis after the main inbound and outbound ramps off Interstate 35W are shut down on Friday night.
The ramps from northbound I-35W to 11th Street, Grant Street and 5th Avenue and ramps to southbound I-35W from 12th Street and 4th Avenue will be closed for four months.
The new striping on Portland and Park will remain in place through fall, at which point Metro Transit, MnDOT and the City of Minneapolis will assess if the transit operators are comfortable that they can resume reliable service on I-35W, MnDOT said.
The work this year is part of a $239 million freeway makeover. The project includes reconfiguring the flyover bridge from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94, building a new transit station in the center of I-35W at Lake Street and replacing or refurbishing 18 bridges.
The project will run for four construction seasons, wrapping up in 2021.