MINNEAPOLIS -- The sound of construction is all too familiar these days for people along Nicollet Mall, but there was a sign of progress on Monday.
Designs are being sandblasted into the sidewalks.
The twelve block project is being broken into three different sections. Each section will get its own pattern, from leaves to branches.
All in an effort to bring life to a long stretch of concrete.
“Concrete without patterns looks like a lot of concrete,” says project manager Peter Brown.
Large areas for green space are also taking shape, along with tabled intersections that cater to pedestrians.
“If you're walking north-south on Nicollet mall as a pedestrian, you never step off a curb and you never step down,” Brown says.
It all sounds great but we hear you, it's a hard to get excited with construction everywhere right now.
“It's been kind of a nuisance, it's annoying to be honest with you,” says one person we talked with along Nicollet Mall on Monday.
“It bites getting back and forth across Nicollet so it's a pain in rush hour,” says another.
Those with the project say several blocks are expected to be finished by the end of the year and the entire project will be mostly finished by the end of next year.
It’s all part of a bigger vision to revitalize downtown.
“There's a little bit of pain now, but the long term gain will be worth it in terms of the quality of life and the quality of our economy going forward,” says Steve Cramer of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “We're going to be a world class downtown like never before.”
All the existing artwork along Nicollet Mall has been removed and most of it is being conserved and will be back on display by the end of next year.