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Both directions of Highway 55 are closed for the next 2 weeks

The quarter-mile closure will send drivers on a long detour.

A quarter-mile road closure is sending drivers on a pretty long detour for the next two weeks. 

Both directions of Highway 55 between Van White Memorial Boulevard and Lyndale Avenue, just west of downtown Minneapolis, are closed starting Monday. This closure is sending motorists to Highway 100 and Interstate 394 instead, the City of Minneapolis said in a news release.

Route 19 buses that run along the highway will also be detoured, but there will still be access to nearby neighborhoods and Summit Academy OIC. The sidewalk along will highway will also stay open, the Metropolitan Council said in a news release

Crews will work "around the clock seven days a week" to make the closure as short as possible.

What are they doing to the highway? 

This small chunk of Highway 55 is closed so crews can replace a 130-year-old, "structurally deficient" storm sewer pipe, the release said. 

The agency is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Minneapolis to move and replace the pipe, with the release noting this work will "save time and money later" when the future Van White Boulevard light rail station is built at the intersection as part of the Blue Line Extension. 

Replacing and moving the sewer at the same time, instead of replacing it now and then moving it later, will save roughly $3 million, the release notes. 

The Blue Line Extension project is slated to begin in 2019. The new light rail line will run from Brooklyn Park to downtown Minneapolis, via north Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal. 

For more information on the project, click here

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