Downtown Detours: Major Closures Coming to I-35W, I-94 Starting This Weekend

June 08, 2018 05:32 PM

They say there are two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction.

Yes, this winter was rough -- especially the end of it -- but just ask local leadership, it's got nothing on the roadwork that's yet to come.


"These next three or four years are going to be a little more challenging," Minneapolis Downtown Council CEO and President Steve Cramer said at a press conference Tuesday.

Track Your Commute Using the KSTP Traffic Map

"Major construction is difficult. It's disruptive to your lives," said Minneapolis Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson.

The misery starts Friday night.
Beginning at 10 p.m., the Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the access from I-35W north to Fifth Avenue and 11th and east Grant streets into downtown and Fourth Avenue and 12th Street from downtown to I-35W south.

RELATED: Major Ramp Closures Begin June 3 Due to I-35W Downtown to Crosstown Project

Additional metro area road closures that begin June 8 include:
•    I-94 will close from I-394 to I-35W until 5 a.m. Monday, June 11.
•    The ramp from I-94 east to I-35W south will close until fall 2021.
•    The ramp from I-35W north to 31st and Lake Street will close to general traffic at least until fall 2018.
•    The ramp from 31st Street to I-35W south will close to general traffic at least until fall 2021.

•    The ramp from 35th Street to I-35W north will close to general traffic at least until fall 2021.

Then, looking ahead:

•    At 10 p.m. Sunday, June 10, I-35W northbound will close from Highway 62 to I-94 until 5 a.m. Monday, June 11.
•    At 10 p.m. Friday, June 15, I-35W will close until 5 a.m. Monday, June 18.

•    The morning of June 18, I-35W will be reduced to three northbound lanes, including one MnPASS, and two southbound lanes until 2021.

"So you've got ramp closures everywhere and lane closures," said KSTP Traffic Reporter Josie Smith. "This significant project is just flat-out going to be a huge inconvenience to everyone."

MnDOT is suggesting quite a few detours.

Getting into downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:
•    Use the official detour that takes I-35W to Third Street.
•    Take I-394 east into downtown.
•    Take I-94 west to Fourth and Seventh streets.
•    Take I-35W south to Washington Avenue.
•    Take Hiawatha Avenue to Seventh Street.

Getting out of downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:
•    Take Fourth Street to I-35W.
•    Take Third Street to I-94 west or I-394 west.
•    Take Washington Avenue to I-35W.
•    Take Sixth Street to I-94 east.
•    Take Eighth Street to Hiawatha.

But the truth is, it's still going to be a real hassle getting around, detours or not.

"I wish I had better news," Smith said, "but this project is having such a big impact that I just don't think there's gonna be any easy way around it."

For more information from MnDOT about the construction, you can click here.

Metro Transit has also posted information about alternative ways to get around, which you can view here.


Josh Rosenthal

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