With 394/Washington Project Underway, Businesses Say ‘Don’t Forget About Us’
The long-awaited project to redo the intersection at Washington Avenue North and Interstate 394 is getting underway a little bit early. And when it’s finished this fall, drivers coming off the interstate will finally have a dedicated left turn lane onto Washington instead of having to share a lane with drivers going straight.
But for the next few months, it’ll mean detours and potentially big financial losses for businesses like Jeromeo which just lost all its metered parking along 3rd Avenue North.
“We have zero parking now,” said owner Scott Johnson. “Ever since they put the hoods on the meters about five days ago, it’s just whoosh, down the cliff.” And Johnson was told by a Mn/DOT official that he won’t get that parking back for another three months.
The project is designed to improve traffic flow as well as pedestrian safety around this busy intersection. During construction, the ramps to and from I-394 will close for a few months.
Johnson wants to get the message out that he and other small business owners in the area are still open. “Don’t forget about us,” he said.
The project is scheduled to be complete this October.
By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer