MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis Public Works, addressing a common complaint from drivers, showed WCCO a usually inaccessible part of construction sites, to clear up how it works and why people might not actually see any work getting done.

The city works in tandem with utility companies to fix several issues at once. On Hennepin and Washington avenues, Xcel Energy is working on repairing cables.

“Of the thousands of miles that we maintain, we maintain about 27,000 miles of distribution line for electric in Minnesota,” said Xcel Energy spokesperson John Marshall. “We’re always evaluating the health of those cables and investing and replacing those cables throughout all of our systems.”

The city’s public works spokesperson also said it plans to keep improving city streets, implying drivers should expect construction will continue for many summers to come. One of Minneapolis’ biggest projects, along Hennepin Avenue, has crews working one 20-foot trench at a time.

An excavator digs a hole that size, workers install a retaining wall, and crews labor underground for the day. Public works’ main project right now is replacing sewer pipes that are more than a century old in the area.

“Sanitary sewer was built in 1882 and many of this other infrastructure across the metro are in that similar age,” said Don Elwood of Minneapolis Public Works. “They either no longer have the capacity, or they’re starting to fail.”

A project he’s working on for next year: putting a camera with a live feed inside of the trench, to give people context of how their job works.

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