January 14, 2019 06:57 PM
A road work project on Interstate 94 from Maple Grove to Clearwater, which is scheduled to launch this summer, could force drivers to find alternate routes.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, crews will work to expand the interstate, replace pavement, repair bridges, provide new safety features and build a new interchange at Dayton Parkway.
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Temporary lanes will be installed between Maple Grove and Rogers beginning in the summer. Then work will begin between St. Michael and Albertville in the summer and fall of this year.
Work between Monticello and Clearwater will take place in the fall.
According to MnDOT, it will take crews about three years to complete work along the 39-mile stretch of the interstate. The project could cost more than $300 million.
Curtis Medina co-owns Daily Dose Cafe and Espresso in Maple Grove and expects a little drop in business.
"I think it will impact business because I know when I am traveling in traffic delays, you're not wanting to make a quick stop off," he said.
He is grateful for his loyal base, and people like Fred Lange, who has traveled I-94 for decades, having lived in the northwest Metro for nearly 50 years.
"It's just a bottleneck, especially during rush hour traffic. I mean you can't get through," Lange said.
Fortunately, he knows the back roads.
MnDOT says there is a several-mile stretch between Albertville and Monticello where extra lanes haven't yet been funded, but a spokesperson says it should be, "OK, given current traffic volumes."
MnDOT is paying close attention to those summer Fridays and plans to keep Friday evening weekend rush hour lanes open.
Those interested in more information can attend sessions from 6 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday at the Monticello Community Center; Jan. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Maple Grove Government Center; and Jan. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Monticello Community Center.
Rebecca Omastiak & Jessica Miles
Updated: January 14, 2019 06:57 PM
Created: January 14, 2019 11:02 AM
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