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Most intersections are now back to normal on Nicollet Mall

The city promises the rest will be open by Labor Day.

There's finally some relief in the long Nicollet Mall renovation – at least for Minneapolis city leaders, who have faced bitter criticism because of the project. 

The city announced 75 percent of the intersections along the Mall are now complete and fully open to traffic, while the remaining intersections will be completed and ready for cars by Labor Day. 

"The Nicollet Mall project is on-time and on-budget," Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

It's a welcome update for the city (not to mention commuters) following the muddled "substantially complete" campaign, where that seemingly dubious phrase was used on advertisements to sort-of promise a completion date of November 2017. 

As MinnPost points out, the weird phrasing of the ads distracted from the city's message, with critics focusing on the meaning of the words instead of any good news about the renovation's progress. 

In general, the project has been something of a PR nuisance for the city, with things like the farmers market and Mary Tyler Moore statue pushed elsewhere during work. It was even mentioned by the New York Observer as one of the reasons the paper declared Hodges the second worst mayor in America recently. 

So what does this update mean, exactly?

In an interview with MinnPost, Don Elwood, the city’s director of transportation engineering and design (and a major force behind the Nicollet revamp), said, “I’ve been in this business a long time. It will be complete [by the holidays].”

So the city seems confident they'll hit their November goal, and according to the latest official update, a lot of the work now is focused on installing art pieces and trees along the sidewalks (the cosmetic stuff, basically).

In other words, most of the big things seem to be done. And with some time to spare before the 10-day Super Bowl extravaganza hits the city.

And check out this tweet from Fox 9's Timothy Blotz: 

The construction project started in 2015. 

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