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Major revamp of Hennepin Avenue begins Monday, expected to last 4 years

April 14, 2019 10:29 PM

Crews are expected to start a complete revamp of Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis on Monday.

Lane restrictions from 7th Street South to 12th Street South will go into effect to allow crews to work on underground utilities.

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The multi-year project is an effort to improve the busy area, making streets more walkable for pedestrians and people who take public transportation, according to Steve Cramer with the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

"It's been over 35 years since the street has been redone," Cramer said, explaining also that city water and sewer lines that run underneath the street haven't been touched since the 1800s.

The utility work means drivers will be shuffled down to one lane on each side. Intersections will temporarily close as work dictates.

But, according to project documents, the biggest change is the bus routes that run up and down Hennepin Avenue. Metro Transit is detouring those routes to Nicollet Mall for the length of the project.

People like Terrance Scott who use the buses say that's frustrating to hear.

"That's inconvenient," Scott said. "Inconvenient because it will take people longer to get to work. That means they'll have to leave a little earlier."

Cramer said the outcome at the end is worth the wait.

"Four years is a long time, but in the end, I think it will be well worth the investment," he said.

For weekly updates on the construction, click here.

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Kirsten Swanson

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