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Hiawatha-Lake intersection improvements

Highway 55 and County Road 3 in South Minneapolis

The Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street intersection (Hi-Lake) is being redesigned to create a safer area where people can move easily — and more often — by walking, biking, rolling, and using public transit. Construction of the new design will start in spring 2024 and includes an intersection layout that supports climate-friendly transportation and opportunities for added community space.

Starting in fall 2021, the public will be invited to share priorities for transforming the areas under the bridge and around the intersection into spaces for community and connection.

Hiawatha lake intersection improvements is set to begin construction in 2024 and complete in 2024
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Project partners (Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, MnDOT, & Metro Transit) will work with community representatives, serving on a Community Advisory Council, to incorporate public feedback into the final design and identify potential community partners to implement space uses after construction is complete.

Upcoming engagement opportunities

You are invited to attend our fall 2022 open house. 

Tuesday, October 22
6 - 8 p.m.
Hennepin County Service Center, 2115 East Lake Street, Minneapolis

Ongoing engagement opportunities

You are invited to provide input on the best uses for added public space along Lake Street under the Hiawatha Avenue bridge. Projects across the Twin Cities and the nation offer examples of how open spaces underneath bridges can be reimagined for recreation, art, a place for pop-up shops and commerce, or a place for connecting all types of transit and mobility options.

Join us for a project virtual tour

Visit the project virtual tour to see a 3D model of the added open space under the bridge and tour the new intersection design. 

Past engagement

Engagement began in fall 2021, the public was invited to determine the best use of the areas under and around the bridge at the Hi-Lake intersection. Other projects in the Twin Cities and across the nation offer examples of how creative public and private partnerships and community input can transform these spaces into places for community and connection.

The project held two virtual open houses in late winter, with Spanish and Somali translation available. The project has also been present at the following events

  • Open Streets, Lake Street
  • Corcoran Neighborhood back-to-school night
  • East Lake Library
  • Arbiter Brewing  happy hour
  • East Phillips Improvement Coalition community healing night
  • Minneapolis South High School kick-off football game


Hi-Lake is being redesigned to create a safer intersection that supports a more connected community and climate-friendly transportation options. The project goals and permanent changes planned for 2024 reflect the results of a robust engagement process (2017-2019).

Changes planned for Hi-Lake are intended to:

  • Increase safety for all forms of transportation
  • Add space for people walking, biking, rolling, and using transit
  • Improve connectivity and access for people across neighborhoods
  • Support climate-friendly transportation

This is a multi-partner project led by Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis, and designed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). Metro Transit is working in close coordination on the project as it plans B Line Bus Rapid Transit services for Lake Street and considers potential station upgrades at the Lake Street Blue Line LRT station.

Planning is underway to redesign the Hi-Lake intersection using a new layout that supports all types of transportation with special considerations for people walking, rolling, biking, and using transit. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.

The new layout, called a “tight diamond,” aims to:

  • Reduce confusion and waiting times by installing two traffic signals
  • Increase the size of sidewalks and buffers by eliminating vehicle lanes
  • Slow incoming vehicles by eliminating a vehicle lanes and creating squared turns
  • Reduce the number of public crossings by eliminating refuge islands

As a result of these intersection changes, the public space under the Hiawatha bridge will increase and the public is invited to share priorities for its design and use.

MnDOT is leading the intersection design and implementation. Metro Transit’s B Line construction along Lake Street will also occur in 2024, including stations in the Hi-Lake area.

In response to community concerns related to transportation safety, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis initiated two planning efforts that inform current improvements.

Phase 1 was a technical study assessing short-term and longer-term improvement options for all transportation users. It was completed in 2016.

Phase 2 was a robust engagement effort that informed a draft action plan, prioritizing the improvement options. It was completed in 2019.

Temporary improvements were implemented soon after the Phase 1 study in 2017. The most significant, long-term improvement — a reconfiguration of the intersection — will be constructed in spring 2024.

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