What You Need To Know About Lowry Hill Tunnel Construction

June 22, 2017 06:06 AM

Summer in Minnesota means beautiful weather, spending time on the lake ... and of course roadwork.

Lots and lots of roadwork, including in the Lowry Hill Tunnel.

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RELATED: Rebuilding Minnesota: Lowry Tunnel Project

Construction will be ramping up in the downtown Minneapolis tunnel in just over a week. 

It's already the epicenter of congestion in Minnesota, with roughly 160,000 cars driving through each day. And it's about to get even worse.

That's because a major rehab project - which will focus on the tunnel's pavement and tiling  - is just around the corner. It officially begins June 26, but drivers will start to notice closures as early as June 23.

RELATED: Westbound Side of Lowry Tunnel to Close in May for Repairs

Over that weekend, I-94 westbound to Interstate 394 westbound closes until early August. The detour takes motorists to I-35W southbound, Highway 62 westbound, Highway 100 northbound and back to I-394. Learn about additional ramp closures in the area. 

Meanwhile, Interstate 94 eastbound is closing for a portion of the weekend so crews can prep the tunnel for its new configuration.

Once June 26 hits, however, drivers will really start to feel the pain.

All I-94 traffic will have to travel on the eastbound side of the tunnel, meaning the alignment will shift from six, 12-foot lanes to four, 10-foot lanes with a concrete barrier in between to separate eastbound and westbound traffic. Also during that time, freight haulers won't be allowed in the tunnel at all, and more than a few ramps will be closed.

Mid-August will bring one more major change. Work switches to the eastbound side, and that side of the tunnel will stay closed until mid-September. The work is scheduled to run seven days a week.

Lanes in the tunnel will be tighter and the speed limit will be reduced.

As one frequent Lowry Tunnel driver put it: "It's going to be a mess."


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Credits

Josh Rosenthal

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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