Nearly 50 miles of Minneapolis streets will be reconstructed, repaved or seal coated by the city this summer. More bikeways along with enhancements to city sidewalks and intersections are also planned over the next few months, city officials announced Wednesday.
“Running the city well includes making it possible for everyone to get around, whether they’re on four wheels, two wheels or on foot,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “This spring, our street construction crews were busy patching the damage from this past winter. Now they’re doing the major repaving and resurfacing work. These are part of the basic services resident should expect to receive – the smoother streets will require less ongoing maintenance and make traveling in Minneapolis better.”
Here is a rundown of some of the bigger projects:
• Penn Avenue South – In phase 2 of the project, Penn Avenue from 50th Street West to 54th Street West will be reconstructed. By this fall, there will be a new and better roadway from the Crosstown to just a couple blocks south of Lake Harriet. To help affected residents learn the latest developments on the work, the City created a Facebook profile for the project.
• Cedar-Riverside – Streets on the western end of recently reconstructed Riverside Avenue will be completely replaced. They include 15th Avenue S, 16th Avenue S and 4th Street South.
• 4th Street S ramp and auxiliary lane– In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Hennepin County, a new onramp from downtown Minneapolis to northbound Interstate 35W is being created at 4th Street S. This will alleviate traffic backups on Washington Avenue, which is currently the only downtown point of access to northbound I-35W.
• A total of 30.2 miles of streets will be resurfaced throughout the city, including five high-volume streets. This work involves milling off the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with a new, smoother driving surface.
o 4th Avenue South
o 51st Avenue North
o 58th Street E/Crosstown frontage road
o Loring Park/North Loop
o Pleasant Street SE
• Neighborhood street resurfacing – The following residential areas will also be repaved:
o 5th Avenue N, 5th Street N, 8th Avenue N
o 40th Street E-W
o Burroughs North/Dupont Ave S
o Edgewater/Cedar Ave
o Hay Northwest
o Lowry Hill East
o Lyn Park
• Seal coating – Streets that are in fairly good shape can be seal coated to prolong the life of the driving surface. City crews plan to seal coat around 19 miles of roadway in Minneapolis.
• Parkways – Approximately 3.13 miles of parkways will be resurfaced by city crews in 2014, and another 5.5 miles will be seal coated.
• Bicycle improvements – A total of 10 miles of bikeways will be created in Minneapolis this construction season, including on-street and off-street facilities and some Hennepin County and Park Board improvements. Also this season, crews will complete the last leg of the Dinkytown Greenway, which will connect the U of M Transitway with downtown Minneapolis. Bicyclists from Saint Paul, Falcon Heights and the northeast metro will be able pedal all the way into the heart of Minneapolis without encountering motor vehicle traffic for most of the way.
• Pedestrian improvements – Nearly every city street has a sidewalk along both sides. The City is making improvements to these walkways to make them work better for everyone.
o General sidewalk repair – Sidewalks panels will be replaced when needed in several sections of town.
o Cedar Avenue sidewalk - From 3rd Street S to 7th Street S, crews will be expanding the sidewalk space on the west side of the street, making it a friendlier place to walk. The work will involve better lighting, landscaping and the addition of on-street parking.
o Sidewalk ramps – Several sidewalk ramps at intersections throughout the city will be improved to meet current Americans With Disabilities Act standards.