Road construction ending for the season on I-94 from Rogers to Maple Grove

By this time of year, drivers are eager to see road construction come to an end for the year.

Though drivers will still see crews out working for a few more weeks, there’s one big project that’s just days away from clearing for the season.

It’s a project that gets a lot of complaints from drivers, and it’s along Interstate 94 between Rogers and Maple Grove. The work is part of a larger 39-mile project from Clearwater to Maple Grove.

Drivers say the narrow lanes, lane shifts, and numerous crashes, make it a particularly confusing and dangerous work zone.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the current set up, with two thru lanes and one exit-only lane, is needed in order to give crews enough room to replace concrete. Weather permitting, I-94 eastbound will return to normal around Nov. 10. However, the same configuration will return next spring on the westbound side. MnDOT reports they’re always looking for ways to improve safety in work zones.

"That’s our number one priority, is safety," MnDOT spokesman Dave Aeikens said. "That’s what we’re going to strive for next year and we’re going to continue to make sure that that area will be safe. At the same time, people do need to take some responsibility and drive with care and drive slow."

From July 1 to Sept. 30 of this year, there were 103 crashes along I-94 between Highway 101 and I-494. That’s down slightly from last year when there were 109 crashes along that stretch. During that same time period in 2017, there were just 44 crashes.

MnDOT has identified a number of factors for crashes in that work zone in 2020:

  • 5 – Driver distracted
  • 1 – Driver speeding
  • 20 – Failed to keep in proper lane
  • 6 – Failure to yield right of way
  • 43 – Following too closely
  • 7 – Improper turn/merge
  • 10 – Operated motor vehicle in careless, negligent, or erratic manner
  • 3 – Over-correcting/over-steering
  • 5 – Ran off road
  • 3 – Swerved or avoided due to wind, slippery surface, motor vehicle, object, non-motorist in roadway, etc.

MnDOT crash summary for July 1 to Sept. 30 for 2017 to 2020:

  • 2017 – 44 total crashes
  • 2018 – 74 total crashes
  • 2019 – 109 total crashes
  • 2020 – 103 total crashes