Downtown St. Paul's Jackson Street between 7th Place and 11th Street closed Monday for six months as the city entered the second phase of construction on the street.

The project's first phase, between Shepard Road and 7th Place, began in July 2016 and ran through October.

The entire project is expected to cost $16 million, double its original $8 million budget. The price rose to accommodate increased construction costs since the city's estimate in 2013 and because the project grew by one block and included additional sewer and traffic signal improvements.

The Public Works Department expects increased traffic congestion downtown during the project and will keep at least one lane of the four cross-streets under construction open for the project's duration.

"With each day, commuters find different routes which makes commuting times faster and faster," city spokesman Joe Ellickson said.

The construction project includes repaved streets and sidewalks, added lighting, signs and landscaping, and a new bicycle lane along Jackson Street.

Jessie Bekker