Transit/Access Project (32nd Street to 26th Street)
The I-35W Transit/Access project in Minneapolis includes the area between approximately 32nd Street and 26th Street.
Project activities that are currently being completed as part of the Transit/Access project include:
- Preliminary design of a new multi-level transit station in the median of I-35W near Lake Street with connections to/from Lake Street, the Midtown Greenway, Nicollet Avenue and I-35W.
- Preliminary design of I-35W between approximately 32nd Street and 26th Street including new southbound exit ramp from I-35W to Lake Street and new northbound exit ramp from I-35W to 28th Street.
- Preliminary design of bridges at 31st Street, Lake Street, the Midtown Greenway and 28th Street
- Guidance on streetscape features, landscaping, public art, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and other features that create corridor continuity and neighborhood livability.
- An Environmental Assessment that documents any potential environmental impacts and appropriate ways to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate those impacts.
- A public art framework that provides guidance for the incorporation of public art into the transit station, freeway and Green Crescent design.
- An operations and maintenance plan for the transit station, Green Crescent and public plaza areas.
MnDOT Chapter 152 Bridges Project (26th Street to I-94)
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), in coordination with Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and Metro Transit is completing engineering work for the replacement of two Chapter 152 Bridges (the I-35W “braid” bridge and the I-35W “flyover” bridge connecting I-35W northbound to I-94 westbound). These bridges are required to be replaced by legislative action due to their condition. The replacement of these bridges results in the need for reconstruction work along I-35W between 26th Street and I-94. It is expected that this project will be constructed at the same time that the I-35W Transit/Access project is built. This work will also include the replacement of the 24th Street bicycle/pedestrian bridge, the 26th Street Bridge, Franklin Avenue Bridge, and bridges in the TH 65/I-35W/I-94 interchange area.
I-35W Rehabilitation Project (42nd Street to 32nd Street)
There is a short section of freeway between the Crosstown Commons area and the Transit/Access project (approximately 42nd Street to 32nd Street) that is not planned for reconstruction. The 40th Street pedestrian bridge will be replaced. Other bridges will be repaired. Noise walls will remain in their current locations but some may be replaced with new walls. Estimated cost is $65 million. Construction is expected to begin in late 2017.
Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Metro Transit is implementing the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the I-35W corridor to connect housing with jobs and destinations, as part of its overall goal of building on past transit service investments to improve existing facilities, catalyze new planned projects, and improve the fleet and service overall. BRT is a program of Metro Transit that links improved rider experience (real-time information, better accessibility, and improved stations and vehicles with reliable transit service (less boarding delay, congestion-free ride, and all-day, frequent trips). Go to www.metrotransit.org for more information about the Orange Line. The Orange Line is a separate project from the combined I-35W project and, except for the transit station at Lake Street, will be implemented separately from the combined I-35W project.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2017. Immediate next steps are:
- April 5 and April 19: Public open houses
- April 27: Close of public comment period on Environmental Assessment
- May 3: Municipal consent public hearing at City of Minneapolis Transportation and Public Works Committee, City Hall, 350 S. 5th Street, 3rd Floor, 9:30 a.m.
- May 3: Layout approval, Hennepin County Public Works, Environmental and Energy Committee, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th Street, 24th Floor, 1:30 p.m.
- May 10: Hennepin County Board approval, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th Street, 24th Floor, 1:30 p.m.
- May 13: Minneapolis City Council, municipal consent approval.
This study is being carried out in full consultation with property owners, residents and businesses in affected neighborhoods and commercial areas through a Project Advisory Committee (PAC), open houses, and neighborhood and business association meetings.
There is also a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to ensure proper agency interaction, analysis, and input. TAC Membership includes Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, MnDOT, Metro Transit, Metropolitan Council, Federal Highway Administration, and representatives of the consultant team.
Policy makers from Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, MnDOT and Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit also meet periodically to provide policy direction to the work and to make policy decisions as needed. The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) makes recommendations to the policy makers for their consideration in project decisions.
Work on the I-35W Transit/Access project assumes that the following projects will be completed at some time in the future.
- It is assumed that transit will operate on the Midtown Greenway, providing a transit connection between the Southwest and the Hiawatha LRT lines. With or without transit on the Greenway, it is assumed that bus service will continue to be provided along Lake Street and that transit will continue to operate on Nicollet Avenue (a federally funded Alternatives Analysis has been completed and the city has recommended modern streetcar as the locally preferred alternative to the Metropolitan Council.
- It is assumed that Nicollet Avenue will be reconnected between 28th Street and Lake Street at some time in the future, in coordination with the redevelopment of the K-Mart site. Minneapolis has recently reconstructed Nicollet Avenue between 31st Street and 40th Street.
- Hennepin County will be reconstructing Lake Street between Blaisdell and 5th Avenue South as a separate project. The Lake Street Connections project will be constructed at the same time as the I-35W project. For more information on this project, go to www.hennepin.us.