MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The road closures on Interstate 35W and in downtown Minneapolis are really testing people's patience as they learn to find alternate routes, or just enjoy some extra time in the car.
But, in the end, it wasn’t the manic Monday, nor a “carmegeddon” that many expected.
Though it was just a long, slow slog into downtown, much of the headache may come next Monday when I-35W goes from 10 lanes to five.
“You just pretty much avoid it and find alternate routes because of that construction madness […] I just want it to be easier to get to work,” commuter Lee Reed said.
For the next four months, all the all the I-35W ramps into downtown will be closed except for one on Washington Avenue.
“We expect things will get more congested as we go forward; this is just the start,” said Dave Aeikens with MnDOT
MnDOT has a four year plan, costing $240 million. When it’s over, there will be a dozen new bridges and ramps, along with a new bus terminal at Lake Street.
According to MnDOT, drivers should think about how they’re getting places, as about 200,000 people commute on I-35W every day.
“They should give themselves more time, think about whether they are going to take the bus, train, alternative routes, car pool ...we have a great in ramp by Target Field,” Aeikens said.
MnDOT wants people to avoid surface streets and stick to the freeway detours. They also say follow Google Maps at your own risk, because chances are it’s leading thousands of others in the same direction.
“Everyone with me - you can see the side streets backing up - we’re all getting lost together,” commuter Ashley Willking said.
There is, however, some good news. The Franklin Avenue bridge will be opening in the coming weeks, providing some relief to drivers.
For more information on the closures, click here: https://www.dot.state.mn.us/35w94/