Seventy-five percent of intersections now open on Nicollet

Seventy-five percent of Nicollet intersections are now back to normal traffic flow with the opening this week of Sixth and Seventh streets. Third and Ninth streets opened last week and the remaining intersections at Fourth, Eighth and 10th will be ready by Labor Day.

“Opening the intersections means a much clearer walking zone for the public navigating Nicollet, and drivers will find most of the streets back to normal,” said Don Elwood, the City’s director of transportation engineering and design. “We are entering the phase of the project where the public will notice pieces of the puzzle coming together at a faster pace.”

Construction has also started on the Light Walk in front of IDS which is a two-block-long overhead light installation comprised of a series of mirrors and programmable LED lights. Nearly 100 trees have been planted on the southern five blocks and progress will move north on Nicollet as crews continue planting the remaining 140 plus trees.

Start of Art on Nicollet

Nearly 50 of the artist-designed decorative manhole covers featuring Minnesota icons such as loons, walleye, Lady Slippers and more have returned to mall. This week work began on the first installment of  Ned Kahn’s “Prairie Tree” on the east side of Nicollet between 10th and 11th Streets. The design takes inspiration from both trees and prairie grasses and will be covered with thousands of wind-animated elements.  Construction on additional art elements will be announced in the coming weeks.

Crews install Ned Kahn's "Prairie Tree" on Nicollet.
Crews begin the installation of artist Ned Kahn’s “Prairie Tree” on Nicollet between 10th and 11th streets. Photo by Regina M Flanagan

“We are seeing great energy on Nicollet,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external relations for the mpls downtown council. “The cafes are filling up and private investment continues to be strong on Nicollet, from the $10 million Target renovation to the start of renovation to the Macy’s building, Hop Cat recently opening and Nordstrom Rack opening in September. It’s definitely starting to feel like a new Nicollet.”

To learn more about additional art installments go to or for weekly construction updates, visit