City briefs - Apr 2024

Hennepin Ave. construction
The reconstruction of Hennepin Ave. between W. Lake St. and Douglas Ave. Construction began in April. It will take two years to complete. This year Lake St. W to 26th St. will be completed with work from 26th St. to Douglas Ave happening in 2025. Utility work, however, is already underway from Franklin Ave. to Douglas Ave. Business access will remain open during the construction but people can expect increased noise, vibration, and dust; closed traffic and parking lanes, as well as pedestrian and bus detours.  There will be an online weekly stakeholder meeting every Friday, 10 – 11 a.m. To learn more and join the meetings, visit  
Uptown Art Experience
The Directors of the Uptown Art Fair have announced the cancelation the 2024 Uptown Art Fair that was scheduled for Aug. 2- 4 due to road construction and the closure of Hennepin Ave.  Instead, they will conduct a new neighborhood-wide event called “The Uptown Art Experience,” that will go throughout the summer and include art installations, events, and public art competitions.
LRT and BRT construction 
In April, lanes and sidewalks were closed on West Lake St. between Chowen Ave. and Market St. for sidewalk and station entrance improvements to be made that include a barrier between road and sidewalk. Bus Rapid Transit B Line construction in the West Lake St. bridge area is expected to increase in the months ahead with bus station construction, sidewalk and median work, and roadway resurfacing. Traffic delays are predicted throughout 2024. 
New city public works director
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has nominated Southwest Ward 13 resident, Timothy Sexton, to be the next director of the Minneapolis Public Works Department. Sexton currently works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation as the assistant commissioner for sustainability, planning and program management. He also served as a volunteer commissioner on the city’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission from 2018 - 2021. The city held a hearing on the nomination in April, and the council is expected to approve the appointment later this month. 
School district budget cuts
In March, the Minneapolis school board started reviewing the superintendent’s proposed 2024-25 budget.  It anticipates a $110 million dollar budget reduction due to rising costs, fewer students, and the end of federal funds. Staff predict that 413 fewer students will enroll next year. The proposed budget cuts $47 million through reductions in staff and some programs, but no school closings have been announced at this point. They propose to cover the remaining costs by using $55 million from the district’s fund balance reserves and another $13 million by not hiring people for currently unfilled positions.
State Rep 61A election
There are five candidates running in the Nov. 5 election for the open State House of Representative District 61A seat now held by Frank Hornstein. That includes Jared Brewington from Bryn Mawr, Toya López from Eliot Park, Katie Jones from Lowry Hill East, Will Stancil from Lowry Hill, and Isabel Rolfes from East Isles. All but López, who is endorsed by the Green Party, are running with the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party and will be competing in the Aug. 13 DFL primary election. The winner of the DFL primary will be on the Nov. 5 ballot along with López.    
Water main projects
The Minneapolis Public Works Department has scheduled a water main renewal project in the 13th Ward. This project will begin in April and is scheduled for completion in November. The purpose of this project is to remove the mineral deposits from cast iron pipes and install a lining to prevent future mineral build up which can limit proper water flow. This cement lining is certified for use in potable drinking water pipes. Work will be done in Linden Hills, East Harriet and Lynnhurst.
Work in Linden Hills
Beginning Monday, April 15, the intersection at 43rd and Upton will be closed to car traffic for about 10 weeks. Pedestrian walkways will remain open. During that time: Minneapolis Public Works will replace 200 feet of clay pipe from 1919 at the intersection. Metro Transit will use this time to begin construction on METRO E Line stations at the Northeast and Northwest corners of the intersection, and to add pedestrian improvements at all four corners of the intersection.


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