MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Nicollet Mall will close to motor traffic next Monday as a major construction project to revamp the downtown Minneapolis artery gets underway.

City officials said that after the July 4 holiday weekend, Nicollet Mall will close to buses and taxis so that crews can upgrade lines for power, gas, communications, and water beneath the street. The mall will be closed to motor traffic for two years, as the entire mall, from Washington Avenue to Grant Street, is being redone. A grand opening is scheduled for 2017.

Gallery: Nicollet Mall Redesign

Metro Transit is rerouting buses that service Nicollet Mall beginning July 6. (To see the new routes, click here.)

Cyclists and pedestrians will still have access to the mall following the holiday weekend, city officials said.

In 2016, however, cyclists won’t be able to use the mall, as its surface will be under construction. Pedestrians, on the other hand, will always have access to a sidewalk.

Officials said restaurants along the mall will remain open throughout construction, although outdoor seating many have to be moved during certain parts of the project.

The downtown farmers market has already been moved to nearby Hennepin Avenue. However, vendors say business is way down this year because the new location is too congested and the public doesn’t know the market is there.

The $50 million reconstruction project seeks to bring a pedestrian-friendly, green experience to the heart of Minneapolis. The project looks to line the mall with more trees, art and interactive experiences.

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