Street fair celebrates end to I-35W construction project in Minneapolis

For many, the idea of throwing a party to mark the end of road construction might seem a little odd. But when the end of that road construction is four years in the making, on one of Minnesota’s busiest roads, people come to the party.

"What they did with 35 here and the bus station is immaculate and it’s efficient," Tristan West said.

After years of road construction, some in the area have forgotten what it was like without road work.

"We totally reconstructed 35W from downtown all the way to 43rd Street," MnDOT west area engineer Aaron Tag said. "We were looking at September 10, 2021, when we started this project and we hit the date right on the mark."

At its peak, the project kept as many as 500 construction workers busy each day. They rehabbed and replaced 11 bridges, added new transit stations, ramps, access points, and repaved the ground throughout.

"The pavement was original pavement from when it was built back in the 1960s," Tag said. "It was really worn down to the pavement and needed to be replaced."

Marking the end of years of closures and detours, on Sunday MnDOT welcomed the community that will benefit from the $239 million project.

"I’m hoping to see an improvement in our neighborhood, and make it less of a freeway situation in the neighborhood," Maryellen Mikwold said. "Really excited."

There is still some cleanup work that needs to be done, so MnDOT says drivers can expect some overnight lane closures periodically this fall.

The next road project of this scope in the state is slated for I-494.