ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A $12 million construction project starts Wednesday on a busy stretch of downtown St. Paul.

Crews are reconstructing bridges along Kellogg Boulevard, and the project is expected to last through November. The project has closed Kellogg Boulevard from Market Street to Wabasha Street.

Construction crews have placed detour signs around the work zone in the hopes of limiting any traffic issues or congestion. But it is still early in the process. The southbound lanes on the Wabasha Bridge and the Exchange Street viaduct are also closed and will be for the for the next seven months.

City officials said more than 20,000 vehicles travel this stretch of Kellogg Boulevard every day. That being said, city leaders said the project will cause significant and unavoidable impacts to downtown traffic.

They’re asking everyone to be patient. Aside from traffic flow, Mike Salvatore is hoping the construction doesn’t impact people who want their food to go. He owns an Italian food truck and will park on Kellogg and Wabasha every Wednesday, starting April 8.

He wants people to know, in the midst of construction, he’ll still be there.

“Well we’re hoping it won’t. Everybody knows we’re going to be there starting on Wednesdays and we publicize it pretty good on social media,” Salvatore said. “So we expect to have a really good turnout, just like last year.”

The construction project does have the potential to create traffic headaches when big events are being held that attract large crowds, like when the Minnesota Wild is in action at Xcel Energy Center. City officials said they are working closely with businesses to effectively manage traffic in those situations.

But what about downtown parking? How could that be impacted?

City officials said drivers will still have access to parking ramps and customers will still be able to access businesses.

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