Construction FAQs for Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction Project

We encountered a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) while developing the construction mitigation plans.  Construction by its very nature is disruptive and our mitigation plans have been developed with an emphasis on keeping the disruption to a minimum, realizing that we cannot completely eliminate disruption. Sign up on the project website to be added to the email list.

• What will be removed during the demolition phase of the project?
• We will need to completely take up the street and the sidewalks at some time during the construction project.  We won’t be removing all of it at once and plan to work in distinct parts of the project at a time in order to minimize disruption.  Refer to the Access portion of the Construction FAQ for more information.
• What are the construction phases?
• Stage 1 will be on the Activity Block between Lake Street and 31st  Street.  The character of the street and its resulting design dictated doing that work separately from the rest of the project.  This work will likely take 6 to 8 weeks.
• Stage 2 will be the rest of the project from 31st to 36th Street.
• We will be progressively taking on the demolition and construction in two block segments so that each portion of the construction happens progressively.  We expect each segment to take 6 to 8 weeks.
• Work done on the intersection of Hennepin and 31st Street will need to be done half of the intersection at a time so that the work can be completed and the streets can still function.  This method takes longer than complete intersection shutdown but is necessary to minimize disruption.
• Will internet service be provided as part of this work?
• In addition to letting internet service providers know of this opportunity to make their installations, we are working with all utilities to get all known work done at the same time as we have the area under construction.  This will minimize future disruption.
• Coordination of all work adjacent to this street or affecting it will cut down on the need to re-do work and cut down on disruption to the neighborhood.  We have been working with projects that we know are in development or will be under construction.  If you are not sure if we know about your project, please contact the project team.
• Can homeowners and businesses use this opportunity to upgrade their utility connections?
• Such construction is the responsibility of the homeowner or business.  Doing the work in conjunction our construction saves on restoration fees.  

Please contact:
Utilities Connections
Public Service Center Room 222
250 S. 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN  55401
Permit applications are available online.

• What about other construction work?
• Since the street will be closed to traffic during the City’s reconstruction work, access to homes and businesses for remodeling, tree removals, etc. would be best done before May or after the reconstruction is done in the fall.
• A number of people on the street and developers have contacted us to see how they can best work with this construction disruption.  Some have offered to help their neighbors with access.  Others have pointed out that they will remove items slated for replacement in their yards and replace them after the construction is done.  These efforts are appreciated.

• What is the construction timeline?
• A pre-construction meeting for the general public will be held in the Spring of 2018.  We expect to construct during the construction season of 2018 between May and October.
• When will the actual construction begin and what is the anticipated completion date?
• Construction won’t start until May because of the time that it takes to get a construction contract awarded after bidding.  Actual construction time will depend on the weather (timing of last snow fall and frost, timing of rain events and their intensity) and unexpected conditions encountered during construction.
• What efforts are being made to keep the unexpected conditions to a minimum?
• We have sent out a letter to building owners who may have areaways (portions of basements beneath the sidewalk).  As a result of responses to those letters and subsequent field work, we know of a number of areaways that exist.  We will be contacting property owners on this issue so that construction can proceed without a two-week delay that would result from finding an areaway during construction.
• Potholing for utilities has been done in locations where the relative position of various utilities were not known to a level of certainty needed for design.
• Exploratory boring has been done to ascertain whether any soil contamination exists and develop mitigation plans if any contamination is found.
• Any timing as to when our block will be affected by construction?
• Specific notification of major construction changes will happen during construction.  The construction schedule specifics will not be known until after the Contractor submits their schedule.  The amount of overlap, if any, between Stages 1 & 2 has not yet been determined.
• What about the street fairs on Hennepin?
• The Contractor is required to schedule the Stage 1 work so that it does not disrupt the street fairs.

• We do know that we will need to designate detours for busses, all vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.  There could be different detours for the various modes, especially pedestrians.  The bus detours will be done cooperatively with MetroTransit.  Detours were specifically designed to avoid conflicting with any other known developments or adding to congestion near their sites.

• Where will vehicular traffic be rerouted?
• The official detour will be Lyndale Avenue.  It is the nearest street that can handle the level of traffic that typically uses Hennepin between Lake and 36th
• Not everyone follows the designated detour routes which could result in a lot of traffic on residential streets.  There is no mechanism to avoid that which does not shut down the street completely.

• Where will Hennepin Avenue buses be rerouted during the construction?
• For Stage 1, the Southbound (SB) busses will be detoured at Lagoon to Irving Ave. then 31st St. then down Hennepin (or its detour if being done simultaneously with Stage 2) and the Northbound (NB) busses will go up Hennepin (or its detour if being done simultaneously with Stage 2) as far as 31st St. then to Dupont to Lagoon then resume on Hennepin.
• For Stage 2, the SB busses will use Girard Ave. and NB busses will use Fremont Ave.  Parking will be removed at bus stops and at corners where clearance is needed for the busses to maneuver.  Variable Message Signs (VMS) will be used on Girard and Fremont to let people know that those streets are temporary bus routes and will prohibit stopping in the street.  If too many problems arise with cars blocking the path of the busses, parking will need to be removed to keep the busses moving.

• The project specifications outline construction mitigations.
• Providing pedestrian access at all times to every business and every residence is a requirement in the project specifications.
• Other mitigation measures relative to access will need to change with the progress of the construction.  How long it will be necessary to modify access is not known at this time but will be part of the construction progress meetings and updates.
• Bicycles will need to be carried or walked through the construction pedestrian access areas.
• When a portion of the street is closed for demolition of the street, limited access to those driveways will be provided.  Through traffic and parking will not be allowed.
• There is only one entrance to the alley on the west side of Hennepin near 35th street.  Will everyone whose garage is on that alley have access for the duration of the reconstruction project? 
• We are aware of the public alley and will mitigate the impacts of construction by having the project specifications explicitly dictate that the public alley be kept open the same as any side street.
• Will the alleys parallel to Hennepin be affected?
• There should be no need for those alleys to be affected by this reconstruction work.
• Will it be necessary to close off the access to parking garage entrances at any time during this project?
• We are aware of the parking garages and will mitigate the impacts of construction by having the project specifications explicitly dictate that the parking garages be kept open the same as any driveway.
• How will school bus routes be affected?
• We will notify the transportation representative at the Minneapolis Public Schools to modify their routes accordingly.
• Will trash pickup be affected?
• We will notify Public Works Solid Waste & Recycling.  They will send out a Foreman to determine if any mitigations are necessary (for City serviced properties only).  They will work with the customer to maintain service with minimal disruption.  Those with private trash collection will need to work with their service provider.
• Will mail delivery be affected?
• We will notify the branch manager of the nearest Post Office to let them know of the construction project and will work with the Post Office as needed.
• Will there be provisions for residents with special needs?
• We have incorporated provisions for those properties with disability loading zones already in place.  Additional mitigation can occur on a case-by-case basis.

• Could you tell me how our front yard will be impacted with the Hennepin Ave construction next year? How much will the side walk expansion effect the dimensions of my front yard? 
• Throughout the project, we made a point to keep as much of the front yards as possible.  The back of sidewalk will remain the same along most of the project length.
• At the edge of the existing sidewalk, there will be a need to place forms behind the sidewalk.  If you have anything in the 18” behind the walk, you will need to remove it before construction starts and may reinstall it after the construction has been completed.
• There are some properties where some minimal work is unavoidable.  We will specifically work with those affected properties to get the necessary paperwork in place.

• How will con we find out what is happening as the project progresses?
• As mentioned in the TIMELINE section, there will be a pre-construction public meeting this Spring.  Notices will be sent out by mail, email, and posted on the website.
• Periodic updates will be made available from the Construction Engineer and Construction Inspector.  Specific information about those updates will be available at the pre-construction meeting.
• Sign up on the project website to be added to the email list.