Washington Avenue (County Road 152)

Between Hennepin Avenue and Fifth Avenue South

Hennepin County, in coordination with the City of Minneapolis, is reconstructing Washington Avenue South (County Road 152) between Hennepin Avenue and Fifth Avenue South.

Utility relocation work began early in 2016. County crews will began reconstruction work in August 2016. The project is scheduled to be complete in 2017.

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Detours and traffic considerations

Options for traveling north out of Downtown

In addition to the Third Street and Hennepin Avenue bridges across the river, the recently constructed ramp from Fourth Street South to I-35W North is another good option for traveling north out of the downtown area. 

Hennepin County recently completed the Fourth Street South ramp in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Minneapolis to help relieve congestion on Washington Avenue and at the University/Fourth Street Southeast interchange during peak times.


5th Avenue intersection

Starting at 4 p.m. Friday, October 14, crews opened a northbound through lane at the 5th Avenue intersection. All below ground utility work is now complete and crews are continuing with work on curbs and gutters. The intersection is expected to fully open in early November.


3rd Avenue intersection

Work began Monday, October 17 in the northwest part of the 3rd Avenue intersection. Two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained for the next couple weeks while this work occurs. Crews will then flip to the other side of the intersection. Pedestrians should cross on the side opposite the active work area.


2nd Avenue intersection

All work is now complete and the intersection is fully reopened.


Washington Avenue detour 

Starting early morning on Monday, August 15, the detour of westbound lanes of Washington Avenue (County Road 152) in downtown Minneapolis will begin at Portland Avenue. The detour currently begins at Second Avenue South. 


This detour for motorists and bicyclists will follow Portland Avenue, Third Street South, Hennepin Avenue and then return to Washington Avenue. There is no detour for pedestrians or eastbound Washington Avenue. 


In addition, eastbound traffic will be reduced to two lanes through the work area. 


Westbound Washington Ave detour follows Portland Avenue, Third Street South, and Hennepin Avenue

Construction timeline

Starting in spring 2016 and prior to the reconstruction, utility crews will be working in the area to relocate utilities.

County crews will follow behind the utility crews to begin the county’s reconstruction efforts. The reconstruction schedule is as follows:


  • Summer/Fall: Start work on westbound lanes


  • Spring: Complete work on westbound lanes  
  • Summer/Fall: Complete work on eastbound lanes

Anticipated construction staging plan (PDF)

Learn more

This section of Washington Avenue is part of County Road 152, which goes from Highway 62 in Minneapolis to County Road 81 in Brooklyn Park. County Road 152 is a turnback from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, who managed it when it was State Highway 52. The turnback status provides state money for completion of this project.  

When complete, the project will:

  • Add dedicated turn lanes at key intersections
  • Provide more space for pedestrians and shorten crossing distances at intersections
  • Provide one-way cycle tracks, or protected bike lanes

The project received approval of the preliminary layout from the Minneapolis City Council in 2014.

Preliminary layout 3 - January 2014 (PDF 6MB)

Washington Avenue corridor

Although construction will end at Fifth Avenue South, the design was created to include the rest of Washington Avenue to I-35W. The concept plans will provide guidance as future projects are identified and as funding becomes available. 

Draft traffic operation analysis - April 2013 (PDF 9MB)

Existing conditions layout - May 2013 (PDF)

Land use context and typology - May 2013 (PDF 5MB)

Area wide plan - May 2013 (PDF 7MB)

Public involvement


A pre-construction open house was held in August 2016. 


A public meeting was held December 4, 2012. Attendees provided input on existing conditions, challenges, opportunities and preliminary alternatives.

Public involvement part 1 summary report (PDF 18MB) 

A second public meeting was held May 14, 2013 to gain public input on concept layout alternatives and urban design elements. Input was also gathered through online surveys and stakeholder meetings.

Public involvement part 2 summary report - July 2013 (PDF 12MB)

There was strong public feedback supporting a bicycle lane behind the curb to make it more accessible for bicyclists. Following these sessions, the staff developed Preliminary Layout 3.

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