3-year project to protect I-35W from flooding begins Monday

Starting Monday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is beginning new roadwork in the south Twin Cities metro to create a long-term fix whenever flooding threatens Interstate 35W. 

The problem is the I-35W bridge over the Minnesota River. The fix is a three-year, $127 million project to completely remove and rebuild the bridge. The goal is to raise I-35W out of the flood plain and improve pedestrian access across the river. 

The project is expected to last three years and will not be completed until November 2021. 

The project will start with some lane closures, but soon, MnDOT will add orange cones for the occasional change in lane configuration. Before it is all over, drivers will have to find an alternate way to get around a major project as crews completely replace the I-35W bridge over the Minnesota River. 

The first phase, which begins Monday and runs through September, involves lane closures in both directions between Cliff Road in Burnsville to the south and 106th Street in Bloomington to the north. 

Since the bridge is four lanes in each direction, the goal is try and keep at least two lanes open in each direction.  But, late night drivers could find I-35W down to a single lane after 10 p.m. 

There will also be overnight ramp closures for the next two days. Starting at 10 p.m. Monday, the ramp from Black Dog Road to northbound I-35W will be closed. On Tuesday night, the northbound I-35W exit to Black Dog Road will also be shut down.