Hennepin Avenue—one of the city’s most celebrated cultural corridors with several theaters and entertainment venues—attracts more than 50,000 trips per day, including 8,100 transit trips, 7,600 pedestrian trips and 730 bicycle trips.
The street was last rebuilt in 1986. After more than 30 years, the pavement is worn out and needs to be replaced. The current corridor also does not reflect current demand for a more balanced roadway that makes the corridor safer and more inviting for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and cars.
The City is moving ahead with redesign and reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street. The reconstructed Hennepin Avenue will continue to accommodate all modes within the existing right-of-way:
- Sidewalk area able to support pedestrian activities with space for planting and furnishing zones
- One-way bikeways behind the curb
- Space for enhanced transit stops compatible with future Arterial Bus Rapid Transit service
- Generally four vehicle lanes, with Hennepin Avenue remaining a two-way street
The city has prepared a public realm design concept that will cover the Hennepin Avenue corridor from the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Arts Center to the Mississippi River. The primary purpose of this exercise was to gather public input that will influence the detailed urban planning and design for the 10- block reconstruction project. However, its findings are applicable to future projects and improvements within the larger Hennepin Avenue Corridor area.
The reconstruction project, estimated to cost $23 million, is currently funded in the City's five-year Capital Improvement Program. It is being funded with City, state, and federal transportation dollars. Outreach began in 2016, and detailed engineering is being completed in fall 2019. Construction began in 2019 and will continue through 2022.
Demand for walking, biking, and transit continues to grow on Hennepin, and throughout downtown Minneapolis.
Pavement on the roadway and sidewalks has reached the end of its useful life and is in need of repair.