MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Construction season is ramping up, and a popular downtown stretch known for its theaters and entertainment options will be impacted by a major project until 2022.

Starting Monday, traffic on Hennepin Avenue between 7th and 12th streets in Minneapolis will be reduced to one lane in each direction as the extensive reconstruction project begins.

The entire project will eventually revamp Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue South to 12th Street. The plan includes infrastructure updates, a new protected bike lane, new pavement, wider sidewalks and more greenery.

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Businesses along Hennepin Avenue are preparing for potential impacts.

“We’re anticipating impact on the foot traffic, but we’re really just hoping that people know that we’re open and operational and ready for business,” said Andrew Sincebaugh, general manager of Crave on Hennepin Avenue.

Sincebaugh says the city of Minneapolis has been supportive and helpful to area businesses ahead of the project.

“The city has been really great about communicating with us on what’s going on with the construction project and promising us that our doors will always be open and that we’re going to be taken care of through this process as well,” Sincebaugh said.

“If you can handle downtown on a regular day, you can handle it with construction,” said Luke Kaster, general manager of The Bulldog Downtown. “I’m sure it will be trying, but it’s part of business.”

Hennepin bus routes will be detoured to Nicollet Mall starting Monday and will continue throughout the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Erin Hassanzadeh