I-35W reopens after massive 4-year road construction project ends
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - For four long years, hundreds of thousands of motorists have had to navigate construction, congestion and traffic cones every day as the massive 35W at I-94 project dragged on.
But downtown drivers, it is finally time to celebrate. This weekend, the $240 million Downtown to Crosstown revamp and overhaul will finally be complete.
"It's fantastic...it just shortens my commute by so much. It's just nice after years of making my way through city streets to be able to use the freeway again," said Jeff Werthmann-Radnich, who lives in south Minneapolis.
The six-mile stretch will feature 11 new bridges, new concrete, new ramps and new EZ-Pass lanes.
Perhaps nobody is happier than the staff at the Electric Fetus, located off East Franklin Avenue. The construction and ramp closures confused customers and in turn, business took a hit.
"We've been keeping a close eye on this for like the last four years," said co-owner Aaron Meyerring, "It's great to see finally the light at the end of the tunnel."
Meyerring is crossing his fingers the years-long headache was worth it.
"I hope it does help the flow of traffic. Only time will tell if it was worth the investment that the city and the state put into it or not."
Other drivers like Brogan Graham are just bracing for what's next.
"They always say once we get this done and that might be a life lesson. There's always a next thing, there's always a new construction project, there's always a new on ramp or off ramp," said Graham.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will formally announce the completion of the project on Friday afternoon.
There will be one more closure from 10 p.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Friday. Southbound I-35W will be closed between I-94 and Highway 62 SB I-35W is closed between I-94 and Hwy 62 as crews put the finishing touches on the project.
A community celebration is also scheduled for Sunday.