Work on Como Avenue Southeast causes problems for area residents

The Como Avenue Southeast construction is set to continue into the fall.

Minneapolis Public Works is knee-deep in construction on Como Avenue Southeast, which has become an inconvenience for some.

Work to repave a major stretch of Como Avenue Southeast between 24th Avenue Southeast and 33rd Avenue Southeast during this summer has begun. The project is a reconstruction of the street and sidewalks and will add bike lanes.

The construction began in early May. Detours bring most drivers to East Hennepin Avenue and Eustis Street.

The project has caused some headaches, however, requiring students to take alternate routes to their destinations.

Physiology graduate student Aitor Coca, who lives in the Como Student Community Cooperative between 27th Avenue Southeast and 29th Avenue Southeast, said detours from the construction have been an annoyance.

The bus no longer stops in front of the cooperative, requiring him to take another route and doubling the time it takes to get to school, he said. Riders must now pick up the bus along 29th Avenue Southeast, he said.

The noise from the machinery has made it difficult for him to take his child out during the day, he said.

According to the Metro Transit Web site, riders can pick up the busline at 22nd Avenue Southeast at Como Avenue Southeast and 29th Avenue Southeast at Talmage Avenue Southeast. Riders will be detoured along East Hennepin Avenue.

Construction makes getting to work difficult for nutrition junior Janelle Thompson, who works at the University storage facility on 29th Avenue Southeast, she said.

“It’s a pain,” she said. “You have to go forever away to get to the next street route, or get stuck in noontime traffic on (Highway) 280.”

The extra time is also the biggest hassle for molecular biology graduate student Junghun Kweon.

“It’s an inconvenience,” his wife Jungwon Choi said.

The rain has proved a hardship for others. The last week’s rain has left the street a virtual mud pit, slowing the construction process.

It has caused some delay on Como Avenue Southeast construction, project engineer Jenifer Lortiz said.

“There has been a minor delay, but work is still basically on schedule,” she said.

The city is doing the construction in phases which are spread out during the summer, according to the city’s Web site. The project is in its early stages, and workers are expecting the first phase to be completed this week.

The city plans for construction to continue into the fall and to repave 22nd Avenue Southeast through 24th Avenue Southeast for the summer of 2006.

Detours will be necessary for now, but there will be a new street in the fall.

Coca said, “It will be a good thing when they are done.”

Freelance editor Anna Weggel welcomes feedback at [email protected]