Northbound Hiawatha Ave. to be closed this weekend


Parts of Hiawatha Ave. will be closed this weekend and next. According to council member Sandra Colvin-Roy’s newsletter:

• Oct. 13 & 14 (Saturday & Sunday): Northbound Hiawatha Avenue will be closed to traffic between 26th and 50th Streets. You will still be able to cross Hiawatha. Northbound traffic from Highway 62 (Crosstown) will be detoured to I35W.

• Oct. 20 & 21 (Saturday & Sunday): Southbound Hiawatha Avenue will be closed between 26th and 50th Streets. You will still be able to cross Hiawatha.

These road closures are part of the effort to improve traffic flow on Hiawatha, as well as the intersecting side streets, and clear up issues between traffic signal timing and the lightrail trains.

According to Colvin, new loop detectors will be installed as the first of three phases towards big improvements to the corridor. Loop detectors tell the signal controller system when and where there are cars present at an intersection and if they are backed up. If there are a lot of cars waiting, the signal can give that direction a little additional time. If there are no cars waiting, the signal can skip that leg.

Drivers will also encounter some inconvenience here and there starting on October 10 as loop detectors are installed on the side streets. Full road closures are not needed for this work.

Please be patient and know that these changes will save time and frustration in the near future, urges Colvin-Roy.

The next two phases of improvement are installing new cabinets and controllers after all of the timing analysis and programming have been done.

All phases should be complete by the end of the year.

Hiawatha will also be closed in both directions between 26th Street and Lake Street from 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22. Traffic will be detoured to Cedar Ave.

This detour is due to a major Xcel Energy project. Power lines are being buried under the highway.

Xcel’s work has been timed to coincide with the signal timing project in order to reduce the overall inconvenience for area residents and commuters, according to Colvin-Roy.