Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis is open to traffic after being shut down most of the year for major reconstruction.

But drivers should not get too used to it: The street will close again in the spring when construction resumes.

This winter, motorists will be able to drive Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street, though traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between 5th and 7th streets as utility work continues.

Drivers may also encounter short-term lane closures between 7th and 12th streets as crews install new lighting.

Minneapolis is spending $23 million to overhaul Hennepin between Washington Avenue and 12th Street, where the pavement was last replaced in 1986. It's one of downtown's busiest corridors with more than 50,000 trips per day, including 8,100 made on transit, 7,600 by pedestrians and 730 by bicyclists.

When construction wraps up in 2022, the downtown stretch of Hennepin Avenue will have new sidewalks, space for enhanced bus stops that can accommodate bus rapid transit service and protected bike lanes.

Tim Harlow