Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis road construction season is done for the year. City officials celebrated that fact Tuesday.
Six blocks of Nicollet Avenue, from Lake Street to 36th Street, were completely rebuilt this year. Other roads were repaved or seal coated.
Almost 68 miles of city streets were improved, and as Jamie Yuccas shows us, the work should mean fewer potholes in the future.
Business is back to normal at the O’Rilley Auto Parts store on Nicollet Avenue near 36th street. But last July, Nicollet was closed for a complete rebuilding and businesses suffered.
“Customers couldn’t get in, so they had to park somewhere else and walk in, so it did reduce our traffic,” said Lee Yang.
Nicollet looks much different now: Smooth blacktop, new sidewalks and boulevards with new sod.
“People all over town, I think, are getting a new appreciation for how important it is to simply take care of the basics,” said Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak.
New stop lights will be going in soon, and these orange cones will be replaced by new trees.
“You will see a very different vision of Nicollet, say five years, 10 years from now, as that tree canopy grows and this will just be a beautiful boulevard for everyone,” said Elizabeth Glidden of the Minneapolis City Council.
Rebuilding streets from the ground up also means sewers and pipes were checked, and water run-off will be optimal.
People who live in the neighborhood are glad the job is done.
“It’s a drastic improvement, I really appreciate it as a cyclist. I was having to take a detour just to ride to and from work,” said resident Maddy Nye.
The rebuilding of Nicollet Avenue South will continue next year, from 36th street to 40th street.