Major long-term closures coming to Minneapolis downtown area

- Getting around near downtown Minneapolis during rush hour is always an exercise in patience, but even though road construction season is just getting started it’s about to get much worse.

I-94 and Hennepin Avenue/Lyndale Avenue closures

For the third weekend in a row, I-94 will close between I-35W and I-394. This section of I-94 will be closed Friday starting at 10:00 p.m. and ending around 5:00 a.m. Monday. Hennepin Avenue/Lyndale Avenue will also be closed from Dunwoody Boulevard to Oak Grove Street.

These closures are needed to repair the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that runs over I-94 between the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Loring Park. For more information about this project and detour information, click here.

The ramp from westbound I-94 to Highway 55 will also be closed until about mid-June as part of the I-94 Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center maintenance project.

I-35W to I-94 flyover bridge demolition

Starting this weekend, MnDOT will also close the exits from northbound 35W into downtown so crews can knock down the ramp to 94 west, which will be closed for the next three years as part of the 35W@94 project.

Downtown access from northbound I-35W to 11th Street/5th Avenue S/East Grant Street will be closed. Access to leave downtown from 12th Street/4th Avenue to southbound I-35W will be closed.

“The ramp to 94 west – it’s been there for awhile, but we also want to take the opportunity to make it a little more efficient,” said Dave Aeiken of MnDOT. “We are going to rebuild it, so the ramp will land on the left side of the freeway instead of the right side of the freeway. That's going to take traffic away from the Hennepin and Lyndale traffic, so the people coming on 94 west will have their own lane leading them through the Lowry Tunnel to 94.”

For more information about the 35W@94 project and detour information, click here

Upcoming lane closures on I-35W with the 35W@94 project

The real headaches begin next month when 35W between downtown and Crosstown Highway will go from 10 lanes to five lanes until 2021, affecting the 180,000 cars that use it every day.

It’s part of $240 million makeover of the freeway to replace 11 bridges, add ramps and a transit station to Lake Street and extend MnPass lanes into downtown.

“We understand it’s going to be difficult,” said Aeiken. “We appreciate everyone's patience. We're sorry we have to do this, but we're trying to protect the taxpayers' investment and make things safer and more efficient."

For more information about the 35W@94 project and detour information, click here

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