Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One person’s investment is another person’s traffic jam, which is at least the way Minneapolis is looking at it.
On Wednesday, the City of Minneapolis announced 54 miles worth of construction projects, with an important and symbolic centerpiece.
Already, the cones are up and construction has begun, with detours and delays in all four corners of the city.
“We literally tear up streets, tear up the curb and gutter and replace the sidewalks,” Minneapolis Public Works Director Steve Kotke said about the four largest projects.
Minneapolis is investing $33.5 million dollars in roadwork this summer — up 42 percent from last year.
“You’re going to see some traffic congestion,” Kotke said. “It’s going to take us most of the summer to make those types of repairs.”
The biggest delays will be in four major projects:
• New roadway on Penn Avenue from 54th Street West to Minnesota Highway 62 (Crosstown).
• Reconstructing Nicollet Avenue South from 36th to 40th.
• Creating a true roadway on Winter Street Northeast, which used to be unpaved.
• A bridge under I-394, connecting Van White Memorial Boulevard to Dunwoody Boulevard on the other side.
“Eventually we’ll have a much broader boulevard here,” said Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels, “and this will feed the transportation needs as it develops.”
It’s a physical bridge, and a symbolic one, creating a new way to connect north and south Minneapolis.
“I love the idea that a kid in north or south Minneapolis can hop on a bike and meet here on the bridge,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “Go to each other’s house and be part of one Minneapolis again.”
For a map of all Minneapolis’ summer construction projects, click here.