MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A structurally deficient storm sewer tunnel has prompted transportation officials to shut down a quarter mile of Highway 55 for two weeks.
The stretch between Van White Memorial Boulevard and West Lyndale Avenue will be closed until Nov. 13 for the project. Traffic will be detoured to Highway 100 and 394.
This closure will impact drivers and motorists, but it’s all to prepare for another form of transportation to come into the area: the light rail.
Over the next two weeks, construction workers will move and replace Bassett Creek Stormwater Tunnel, which has been around for more than 100 years.
The stormwater tunnel is not only weak and old, but it’s currently blocking the future Van White Boulevard light rail station, which is a part of the Light Rail Blue Line project.
Replacing the old stormwater tunnel now will make the major construction of the Blue Line move a bit faster and will save money.
When completed, the Blue Line extension will travel from Target Northern Campus in Brooklyn Park to the Mall of America in Bloomington. It will service cities like Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park.
The total cost of the project is expected to top $1.5 billion, with funding from local, federal and state sources.
Service on the extension of the Blue Line is expected to begin in 2022.