Mayor R.T. Rybak is more than embracing the new look of Nicollet Avenue, which has been reconstructed in phases.
“I drive down this many mornings," Rybak said at a press conference Tuesday. "And I really want to get out of the car and roll down it I’m so excited."
It's nearly winter, time for city officials to herald the work that's been done over the summer to rebuild, resurface or simply seal up the city's many miles of roadway..
The highlight this year was Nicollet Avenue, for years a jaw-rattling collection of potholes, which has now been reconstructed from Lake Street to 36th Street for the first time since 1954. Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy noted that the road was "completely at the end of its life.”
Next year, crews will tackle Nicollet from 36th Street to 40th Street -- south of 40th is already complete.
The changes on Nicollet also include a new boulevard adjacent to the sidewalk, which Council Member Elizabeth Glidden said will eventually reshape the streetscape when trees emerge.
"You will see a very different vision of Nicollet say five years, 10 years from now as that tree canopy grows," Glidden said. "And this will just be a beautiful boulevard for everyone.”
Crews also completed work this year reconstructing the driving surface of Riverside Avenue, which was a two-year reconstruction project.
Altogether, the city reconstructed nearly 1 mile of streets in 2012. Another 35 miles of streets were resurfaced, and 31 miles of roads and alleys were seal coated.
New roads means more attention can be paid to potholes in other parts of town. “We will have some potholes in the city this year, but far far fewer," Rybak said.