Commuters driving in and out of downtown Minneapolis this week should expect to encounter road closures and longer delays than usual.
Starting today, crews will be out paving streets along Marquette Ave. between 5th and 10th streets. The work will continue through Thursday.
All cross streets within this area also will be restricted to one or two lanes for the next two to three weeks, officials said.
Short-term intersection closures will occur only when paving operations are taking place in the affected intersections. These closures are expected to last between 15 minutes to an hour, according to officials.
Police officers will be on site to direct traffic during these short-term intersection closures.
Officials have also tentatively schedule a closure on July 31 and Aug. 1 to complete paving on the west half of Marquette Ave. from 5th to 10th streets.
The work is part of the reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd avenues, which will add additional transit lanes, widen sidewalks and improve the streetscape.
The new transit lanes will increase the number of buses that will be able to use Marquette and 2nd avenues, and will significantly decrease the time it takes buses to get through downtown.
Construction on the project began last year, with utility work and paving on five of the northernmost blocks along these downtown streets.
This year's construction will generally work its way from north to south. All work is expected to be complete by December 2009.