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Reconstruction of Xerxes Avenue bridge, improvements on France Avenue in Edina starts Monday

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 7, 2014 - 11:53 AM

Two construction projects that will disrupt the traffic flow in Edina get underway Monday. They include reconstruction of the Xerxes Avenue Bridge over the Crosstown and work on France Avenue in the Southdale area.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed the Xerxes Avenue Bridge at 9 a.m. Monday and it will remained closed until early July. Ramps to and from Crosstown to Xerxes will remain open until Wednesday. They also will be shut down until early July.

Motorists on the Crosstown will be affected Tuesday and Wednesday nights as the highway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction during the overnight hours as crews take down overhead signs. From 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. next Monday, all lanes of the Crosstown in both directions will be closed between I-35W and Hwy. 100 to allow crews to take down the current bridge deck.  Another closure is scheduled from the weekend of April 25-28.

MnDOT will spend $1.6 million to remove and replace the bridge deck and panels. It's also upgrading approaches and improving bicycle and pedestrian access.

The City of Edina is hoping to make navigating France Avenue between 66th Street and I-494 a bit easier for bicyclists and pedestrians. Crews plan to add pedestrian-level lighting, ADA-compliant accommodations and median refuge islands between the northbound and southbound lanes.

The $4.09 million project is set to begin April 14, but drivers will see preliminary work starting Monday. Temporary traffic signals will be installed ahead of the work that will be concentrated at 66th, 69th and 76th streets.

“This area of France Avenue in the Southdale area is very difficult for pedestrians and bikers to navigate,” said Chad Millner, the City’s Engineering Director. “More than 30,000 vehicles travel this road every day. Between the high traffic volume, speed and lane width, trying to walk across France Avenue is very intimidating.”

France Avenue will be reduced to two lanes in each direction at times during construction, Millner said.

Motorists should expect delays once construction begins and he encourages drivers to use alternate routes.

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