After a long and busy construction season, you can't blame Minneapolis city officials for holding a little celebration and touting the accomplishments of the city's Public Works Department.
On Tuesday, City Council Member Kevin Reich, City Council member Linea Palmisano and Public Works Director Steve Kotke stood on the corner of W. 50th Street and Penn Avenue S. to highlight some of the projects completed in 2014. More than 30 miles of streets were resurfaced or rebuilt and another 18 were seal coated.
“The City’s crews did fantastic work reconstructing Penn, building it better than it was built before, ensuring it lasts longer for the way people use it today," said Palmisano, who is chair of the Transportation and Public Works committee and represents the area of Minneapolis that Penn Avenue runs through. "The work on Penn is only a small chunk of the more than 50 miles of improvements made to our roads and alleys this season. Thank you to the neighboring residents and business who dealt with the inconveniences of being next to these projects—the results are terrific.”
Among the biggest projects now off the "To Do" list is the rebuilding of Penn Avenue. This year the city rebuilt Penn between 50th and 54th Street. That follows last year's reconstruction effort from 54th Street to the Crosstown.
Here is a breakdown of what was completed:
- Resurfacing projects 29.69 miles
- Reconstruction projects 0.86 miles
- Seal coating projects 17.97 miles
- Alleys 2.2 miles
- Total 50.72 miles
Along with Penn Avenue project, here's a rundown of completed projects that city provided the Drive:
- Cedar-Riverside – Streets on the western end of recently reconstructed Riverside Avenue were completely replaced. They include 15th Avenue S, 16th Avenue S and 4th Street South.
- 4th Street S ramp and auxiliary lane– Minnesota Department of Transportation crews, in partnership with the City and Hennepin County, are now finishing up construction of a new onramp from downtown Minneapolis to northbound Interstate 35W 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. Weather permitting, this onramp will open in the coming weeks.
- High-volume street resurfacing – Close to 30 miles of streets were resurfaced throughout the city, including five high-volume streets. This work involved milling off the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with a new, smoother driving surface. Resurfaced streets include:
- 4th Avenue South
- 51st Avenue North
- 58th Street E/Crosstown frontage road
- Loring Park/North Loop
- Pleasant Street SE
- Neighborhood street resurfacing – In addition to the high-volume street resurfacings, the following residential areas were repaved:
- 5th Avenue N, 5th Street N, 8th Avenue N
- 40th Street E-W
- Burroughs North/Dupont Ave S
- Edgewater/Cedar Ave
- Hay Northwest
- Lowry Hill East
- Lyn Park
- Seal coating – Streets that are in fairly good shape were seal coated to prolong the life of the driving surface. Nearly 18 miles of streets and parkways were seal coated in Minneapolis this season.
- Bicycle improvements – A total of 10 miles of bikeways were created in Minneapolis this construction season, including on-street and off-street facilities and some Hennepin County and Park Board improvements.
- General sidewalk repair – Sidewalks panels were replaced when needed in several sections of town.
- Cedar Avenue sidewalk - From 3rd Street S to 7th Street S, crews are expanding the sidewalk space on the west side of the street, making it a friendlier place to walk. The work includes the addition of better lighting, landscaping and more on-street parking.
- Sidewalk ramps – Several sidewalk ramps at intersections throughout the city were improved to meet current Americans With Disabilities Act standards.
- Pedestrian improvements – Nearly every city street has sidewalks along both sides.