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Buses won't stop on Nicollet Mall for at least 2 years as renovation work begins

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If you ride the 10, 11, 17, 18, 25, 59 or 568 bus – don't wait on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis anymore.

Starting July 6, the buses that traverse the traditionally shopping-centric street will be pushed elsewhere as the renovation of Nicollet Mall officially begins.

The altered stops will run through 2017, Metro Transit says. Buses will move to Marquette, Second and Third avenues, between Washington Avenue and Grant Street.

Here's a look at where those routes will now stop – click for more details.

Along with the buses, taxis and other vehicles will also be barred from the mall.

Bicyclists and pedestrians will still be able to travel there while the work is going on this year. But next year, reconstruction of the street and sidewalks will get underway, and at that time bicyclists will also be banned.

The project

The $50 million upgrade aims to make the city’s main downtown thoroughfare more pedestrian friendly by adding green spaces, seating, public art and other interactive experiences. Businesses along the route hope the new amenities will bring more people downtown and spur business growth.

You can check out photos of the redesign here.

The work is expected to be complete in 2017.

The downtown farmers market, which is open on Thursdays during the spring and summer, moved off Nicollet to Hennepin Avenue because of the construction. But vendors say business is down this year because customers haven’t found the new location and it’s more congested, according to WCCO.

Who's paying for it?

The project is being funded by both public and private money. The state Legislature committed $21.5 million, the City of Minneapolis is paying $3.5 million and downtown property owners will pay the remaining $25 million through a special assessment, the Nicollet Mall Project website notes.

There are 7,100 properties included in the special assessment zone that will have to pay a tax, either up front or through installments over the next 20 years, to fund the rest of the project.

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