Hiawatha-Lake intersection improvements

Highway 55 and County Road 3 in Minneapolis

Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis are leading a partnership to make improvements to the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55) and Lake Street (County Road 3) in Minneapolis. In its current configuration the Hiawatha/Lake interchange area (Hi-Lake) is a difficult and uncomfortable place for people travelling regardless of mode of transportation.

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Background: A partnership and collaboration with the community

In 2016, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis completed the phase 1 study in response to concerns about transportation issues at Hi-Lake. This technical study resulted in short-term and longer-term improvement options for all users.

In 2017, the partners engaged in phase 2. This phase included engaging with stakeholders and partnering agencies, as well as gathering community input through a public engagement process. This work led to a draft action plan that prioritized the improvements.

Short-term improvements: Work expected to begin in 2019

The city and county, with its partners at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Metro Transit, have developed a plan to make short-term improvements to improve safety for all users while efforts are underway to make longer-term improvements. Both the city and the county will contribute to the estimated budgeted of $400,000 to modify the intersection in late 2019.

Hennepin County will lead construction efforts to make the short-term improvements. Current plans propose curb bump-outs and median refuge areas to shorten crossings, adding high visibility crosswalk markings and increasing walkway space.

Overview of short term improvements at Hi Lake

Overview of short term improvements

Future improvements: Building a tight diamond intersection

Future improvements focus on a significant reconfiguration of the interchange to what is called a “tight diamond” design. The changes include simplifying movements for all users and improve traffic operations at Hi-Lake. This would include removing “free-right turn lanes” and realigning the connecting ramps to create more typical 90-degree type intersections.


The more extensive longer-term interchange reconfiguration is estimated to cost approximately $4 million. It will take time to plan and coordinate, as all partners who own or manage land or resources will have to collaborate. Funding and implementation year have yet to be identified.


Early designs for tight-diamond redesign for Hi-Lake

Early designs for tight-diamond redesign

Public involvement

Future opportunities to learn about the improvements will be listed here.

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