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I-35W project making progress, but still a long way from finished

Updated: June 25, 2019 06:11 AM

Two years into the massive Interstate 35W overhaul project, locals may be starting to see the payoff with new bridges, fresh concrete and additional ramps.

But, with progress comes growing pains.

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“We made a lot of progress, but we’ve still got a lot of ways to go,” said Dave Aeikens, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

MnDOT said it's right on schedule with the $239 million project, but it needs until fall of 2021 to finish.

It’s the first time the 50-year-old freeway has been totally re-done.

“We all feel like it’s a long way off from actually being completed, so it’s one of those things where we’ll believe it when we see it,” said Jason Fritzel, who works nearby. “I know it’s been disruptive for a lot of people commuting.”

One big milestone in the project comes on Monday when construction crews will reroute southbound traffic on I-35W to the new concrete that is now finished on the far right side of the road.

In order to reroute traffic, MnDOT said it needs to close both the north and southbound lanes of I-35W from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. Officials said the freeway will be open and ready for the Monday morning commute.

“We've got work to do, and for the workers to be safe we need these closures,” Aeikens said.

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Ryan Raiche

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