Lake Street rebuild begins east of I-35W

Lake Street Reconstruction Project work will begin Monday, May 16 east of I-35W between East 5th Street and Hiawatha Avenue.

The $25 million Hennepin County project will rebuild Lake Street from Dupont Avenue South to the Mississippi River. Although Southwest's Lake Street won't be redone until 2007, this summer's work will affect traffic in and out of the Lake Street area.

A 1-4 p.m. kickoff celebration is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 on Lake Street between 12th and 13th avenues South. The event will feature an antique car parade, music acts and food provided by Lake Street restaurants.

Reconstruction from Dupont to Blaisdell avenue isn't scheduled to start begin until 2007, and all Lake Street work done by 2009.

Planners hope the initial segment, which includes $4 million in landscaping, will set an example when Southwest's turn comes up.

Project Engineer Don Shaffer said during construction Lake Street will have one lane open in each direction, with sidewalks unaffected. "Pedestrians will have access to every business," Shaffer said.

The Lake Street Council will help affected businesses, creating a multi-lingual marketing plan that lets folks know all businesses will be open during construction.

Council Interim Director Joyce Wisdom said mass-produced signs reading "Open" would play off a colorful logo reading "Midtown."

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