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Now Nicollet Mall is done, Hennepin Avenue is next in line for a rebuild

The busy downtown street will be reconstruction over three years, per city plans.

Now that the never-ending rebuild of Nicollet Mall is finally done, the City of Minneapolis is preparing to start on another headache-inducing project.

Minneapolis City Council on Friday took the next step towards the reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, a project that could take three years.

The council approved the layout of the reconstruction of the busy street, which the city says long overdue a refresh between Washington Avenue and 12th Street.

This 10-block stretch was last rebuilt in 1986, with the pavement now worn out and in need replacing. And while the pavement is replace, Hennepin will get a wider refurbishment following on from similar work on Nicollet Mall.

Not to fear, car drivers, it will still be 4 lanes wide, but the reconstruction work will introduce protected, one-way bikeways behind the curb on each side, so cyclists no longer have to dice with death alongside city buses.

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The project would also see wider sidewalks, allowing "space for planting and furnishing zones," while "enhanced transit stops" will be introduced designed for a future rapid transit service.

Hennepin Avenue is one of the Twin Cities' most-used streets, with its cultural attractions and restaurants attracting more 50,000 trips per day.

Now the council has approved the layout, the city will embark on more detailed design proposals.

The project is expected to cost $20 million, with construction starting next year and ending in 2022.

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