Nicollet repaving moves toward September reopening

The Nicollet Avenue paving reconstruction began early June and is expected to be complete sometime in 2004. Nicollet from 46th Street to the Minnehaha Parkway Bridge is currently closed to through traffic, but will open by September, project manager Robb Urquhart said.

According to Urquhart, the $4 million project consists of street repaving, replacing curb, gutters and sidewalks, and adding greenspace. He said while no traffic lanes or parking areas will be changed dramatically, there will be a left turn lane added on Nicollet Avenue to 50th Street.

Urquhart said the project is currently on schedule, but he expects delays due to Xcel Energy's utility work. He said Xcel's work is necessary, but the city doesn't have much control over how fast they do it.

Urquhart said low-level pedestrian street lighting would also be added. In June, the city authorized an additional $371,000 to the main project cost for 50 new streetlights to be staggered along Nicollet Avenue from 46th Street to the Minnehaha Parkway bridge. He said that the light's final project cost hasn't been determined.

Repaving assessments were billed to residents, but Urquhart said lighting assessments wouldn't come until next summer.

Urquhart said the paving assessments ended up being less than expected -- less than 10 percent of the total project cost -- approximately $380,000. For the street lighting project, Jim Woodward, a real estate investigator in the city assessment office, said property owners will be assessed the total cost. However, a city directive shows the Neighborhood Revitalization Program pitching in $51,000, leaving property owners with the remainder to pay. Urquhart said lighting assessments will be less than paving assessments.