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 road closings

Short-term eastbound closure

Starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, the City of Minneapolis will close eastbound Washington Avenue between Hennepin Avenue and Marquette Avenue South to complete water and utility work associated with the Nicollet Mall project. This closure will last through the weekend, with the road reopening Monday, September 12, at 5 a.m.


The detour follows Hennepin Avenue to Fourth Street, and then Marquette Avenue back to Washington Avenue.


For questions about this closure, please contact Sarah McKenzie with the City of Minneapolis at 612-673-2786 or sarah.mckenzie@minneapolis.gov


Fifth Avenue intersection closure

Starting Tuesday, September 13, Fifth Avenue South will be closed to all northbound and southbound traffic at Washington Avenue. Because of the depth, location and coordination of below ground utility work that needs to occur, a temporary full closure of the northern half of the intersection is necessary. This work is expected to last three to five weeks.

  • The detour for motorists and bicyclists traveling northbound follows Washington Avenue, Portland Avenue and Second Street South.
  • The southbound detour follows Second Street to Portland Avenue.
  • Fifth Avenue between Washington Avenue and Second Street will be local access only.
  • Traffic traveling eastbound on Washington Avenue will not be affected.
  • Temporary crosswalks will be installed to direct pedestrians around the active work site and the crosswalk on the east side of the intersection will remain open.

Fifth Avenue detour map

Second Avenue South lane reduction

Once work at the Marquette Avenue South intersection is complete, work will begin on the intersection at Second Avenue South and Washington Avenue. The intersection will be reduced to one lane in each direction at Washington Avenue. This is to allow crews to work in the northwest quadrant of the intersection for two weeks. They will then flip over to the northeast quadrant for another two weeks.

  • One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained at all times. 
  • Northbound lanes south of Washington Avenue will continue to be  bus only.
  • Pedestrians will be directed to the crosswalk on the opposite side of the intersection from the active work zone.

Marquette Avenue lane switch

Starting the week of September 12, all traffic on Marquette Avenue South will be diverted to the northbound side of the intersection at Washington Avenue, as crews move work to the other side of the intersection. There will be no changes to the current detour route, other than pedestrian crossings.

  • Motorists traveling northbound on Marquette should continue to follow the marked detour along Washington Avenue, Third Avenue South and First Street.
  • Pedestrians should now use the crosswalk on the east side of the intersection.
  • Southbound lanes south of Washington Avenue will continue to be bus only.

This work is expected to last about two weeks. Then, work at this intersection will be finished for the season and all lanes will reopen in both directions.


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. 


Construction schedule

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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