France Ave. Bridge construction will close Hwy. 62 ramps near hospital

It’s no longer winter in Minnesota, which can only mean that it’s the beginning of orange cone season in Minnesota.

Thursday, MnDOT released its 221 road construction projects that will take place this year, which includes the closure of a bridge that connects drivers on Hwy. 62 to Fairview Southdale Hospital.

In addition to the bridge closure, Hwy. 62 itself will close from I-35 to Hwy. 100 next weekend.

Through the duration of the project, however, all four ramps around France Avenue will be closed.

The project will likely have an impact on anyone who lives in or commutes through the southwest Twin Cities metro area.

As part of MnDOT’s construction season kickoff, the Hwy. 62 closures begin April 12 until Monday morning when the highway will re-open, but France Avenue will remain closed from 62nd Street to 66th Street. The France Avenue Bridge will be closed until at least June.

“These things take years to develop so we’ve been working through this,” said MnDOt’s Dave Aeikens. “We’ve been working with the city, with law enforcement, fire department. There’s just a lot of pieces that go into this.”

One of the bigger concerns surrounding the south Twin Cities metro project is its proximity to the Fairview Southdale Hospital.

MnDOT says it has been working with the hospital already to ensure this project and its detours won’t impact operations.

Traffic around the France Avenue Bridge will be diverted onto Valley View Road and Xerxes Avenue.

“We’ve got work on I-494, we’ve got work over by Oakdale, so there’s a lot going on already. This is just one of them,” Aeikens added.

MnDOT says the entire project will be done by August.