Washington Avenue (County Road 152)

Between Hennepin Avenue and 5th Avenue South

Hennepin County, in coordination with the City of Minneapolis, is reconstructing Washington Avenue South (County Road 152) between Hennepin Avenue and 5th Avenue South.

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

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Detours and traffic considerations

Westbound lanes open between 2nd and Hennepin avenues

Westbound lanes on Washington Avenue between 2nd and Hennepin avenues are now open. Some intermittent single lane closures through this stretch may still occur in the coming weeks, as crews complete activities behind the curb such as installing signage, light fixtures and other touch-up work.

Westbound through traffic should continue to use the signed detour on 3rd Street, as work continues between 2nd and 5th avenues. The 3rd Street detour now returns to Washington Avenue at Marquette Avenue, instead of Hennepin. The rest of Washington Avenue between 2nd and 5th avenues is currently expected to reopen to traffic late November or early December.

3rd Avenue one lane in each direction

Traffic at the 3rd Avenue intersection is currently reduced to one lane in each direction as crews work in the northeast quadrant. Motorists should expect delays and may consider choosing an alternate route such as Hennepin or Portland avenues. This work is expected to be complete in late November.

5th Avenue intersection fully reopened

Both northbound and southbound lanes at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Washington Avenue are now fully reopen.

Washington Avenue detour

Westbound lanes on Washington Avenue between Portland and 2nd avenues are currently closed to traffic as crew reconstruct the roadway. The detour for motorists follows Portland Avenue, 3rd Street South, Marquette Avenue and then returns to Washington Avenue. There is no detour for pedestrians or eastbound Washington Avenue. Eastbound traffic is reduced to two lanes through the work area.

Options for traveling north out of Downtown

In addition to the 3rd Avenue and Hennepin Avenue bridges across the river, the recently constructed ramp from 4th Street South to I-35W North is another good option for traveling north out of the downtown area.

Hennepin County recently completed the 4th 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/4th Street Southeast interchange during peak times.

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 5th 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. In the interim, a striping project will add in-street bike lanes to Washington Avenue between Portland Avenue and I-35W in 2017. A similar striping project was completed in 2015, adding bike lanes from Hennepin Avenue to Plymouth Avenue.

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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