Hennepin Ave. Closure Adds To Downtown Congestion Headache

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Getting to work in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday morning was a behemoth headache for motorists, as the various construction projects underway in the city led to gridlock.

Currently, the on-going projects include both construction in Lowry Hill Tunnel and the shutdown of light rail lines at several downtown stations. The subsequent lane reductions and increased bus service for light rail commuters reduced traffic to a crawl. Early morning rain showers didn’t help.

On top of those two projects, four blocks of Hennepin Avenue, one of downtown’s busiest arteries, closed to traffic overnight Tuesday for construction. Drivers were detoured to Marquette and 2nd avenues so that crews could work at the intersections of 3rd, 4th and 5th streets.

Commutes that generally take minutes to traverse downtown on a weekday instead took an hour or more.

Metro Transit says the work on Hennepin Avenue is slated to last until early Monday, the same day light rail service is expect to be restored downtown.

As for the Lowry Hill Tunnel construction, the lane closures will remain for the next few months.

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