Wednesday's commute into downtown Minneapolis was even worse than many had feared.I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to simultaneously shut down parts of the Lowry Hill tunnel on I-94, and Hennepin Avenue, and the light rail line, but it shows a stunning lack of coordination and communication. And people were, well, pissed. Here's a commuter I know pretty well:
Express buses took hours to arrive and downtown streets were parking lots well into the day.
Emily Zieska, an accountant with the Dougherty & Company LLC, said she was late to work Wednesday after her commute up Interstate 94 was stalled for an hour and a half.
Dear Powers that Be in Downtown Minneapolis,That's from our sometime contributor Stinger, who had a dandy time in his trip from Nordeast into downtown this morning. I would also suggest a presidential motorcade, just to really get people going. Or not going.
Next time you plan simultaneous construction projects that close major thoroughfares and close light rail, all while traffic on I-94 is routed through one side of the Lowry Hill Tunnel, you should do it when the Twins are in town. I don't think we've even come close to reaching the true gridlock potential we have, but with a Twins game thrown in the mix, I really think we could get there. That's how we become a real world-class city!
Oh, and that business about being able to move on 35W? That's coming to an end soon, too:
The list of construction projects weaving through the Twin Cities is about to get even longer.Emphasis mine. I'm going to guess that a lot of traffic in that stretch is going to move to Hiawatha and/or 35E, and even Highway 100, so the nightmare will extend into other parts of the city and St. Paul. And it will be going on for four years. Yay.
Starting in August, Interstate 35W will be under construction between I-94 in downtown Minneapolis and 46th Street. The tough part for drivers and neighbors is the estimated $240 million project should take more than four years to complete.
And during construction, nine lanes of highway will be reduced to just five.
Bumper to bumper and side to side, rush hour traffic on I-35W can be a pain. And that’s with nine lanes and every ramp and bridge over the highway open.
When asked what it will be like to know a more than four year construction project is on the way, one commuter said exiting off the highway near Uptown said, “It’s a good thing I bike to work in the summer for the most part.”