MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A structurally deficient storm sewer tunnel has prompted transportation officials to shut down Highway 55 just west of downtown Minneapolis for two weeks.

According to the Blue Line Extension LRT Project officials, the closure will begin October 30 on Highway 55 between Van White Memorial Boulevard and West Lyndale Avenue.

Traffic will be detoured to Highway 100 and Interstate 394. Detour maps are available here and here.

The Blue Line Extension light rail station will be built at the intersection above the sewer’s present location, so the construction will save time and money on that work, officials say.

Officials say it’ll cost $3.2 million to replace the 130-year-old storm sewer pipe. It will also be moved to make room for construction of LRT tracks in the highway median and the future Van White Boulevard Station.

“Coordinating the work is saving roughly $3 million dollars and minimizing impacts to the traveling public by avoiding MnDOT crews from having to repair the tunnel now and then having other crews relocate it underground east of the station during LRT construction,” said Dan Soler, director of the Blue Line Extension LRT Project.

The work is being coordinated with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Minneapolis.

Local access will be maintained for the surrounding neighborhoods and Summit Academy OIC.

Partial lane closures are expected over the winter while crews reconnect the new tunnel. Restoration work is expected to be finished in spring of 2018.

  1. Robert Byrd says:

    All of these closures and narrowing of streets in order to accommodate practically non-existent bicyclists is becoming maddening. Who is making these decisions!!! Do they care at all about the public. I can’t get anywhere because of all the street closures!