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Road construction impacts downtown employers, commuters and residents. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has three major highway construction projects surrounding downtown. The aging road infrastructure needs replacement so the projects can’t be delayed. I-94 funnels commuters from the northwest right into downtown via the 4th Street Exit. Hwy 169 feeds into eastbound I-394 bringing morning traffic from the Southwest Metro. I-35W carries over 150,000 vehicles daily from the South Metro. Highway construction is already causing major delays and these projects are only in their first phases.

West Metro

I-94 Resurfacing from Brooklyn Park to the Lowry Hill Tunnel in Minneapolis
Timeline – Now through June 2018:

  • Lane and ramp closures
  • Tunnel Work
  • Bridge Deck Replacement

Hwy 169 Resurfacing from Edina to Golden Valley
Timeline – Now through November 2017

  • Hwy closed in Edina for bridge replacement
  • Land and ramp closures

I-35w Rebuild from 43rd Street to Downtown
Timeline – November 2017 -2021 (4 year project)

  • Bridge replacements
  • Transit Station construction
  • Land and ramp closures
  • Major detours

Expect lane restrictions and closures on freeway segments from Nicollet Avenue near the Lowry Tunnel north to Shingle Creek Pkwy in Brooklyn Center. Many freeway entrance and exit ramps will be temporarily closed for several weeks at a time. Bridge deck replacements include the heavily used Hwy 252 bridge. Starting June 23rd until September 2017, each side of the Lowry Hill tunnel will be rerouted to accommodate two-way traffic while other side is being repaved and tiled. The eastbound tunnel will be closed first for approximately 6 weeks. All truck traffic will be detoured to Hwy 62 and Hwy 100.

Taking place simultaneously with the I-94 project is the rebuild of HWY 169 from Edina up to Golden Valley. Hwy 169 is currently closed for the Nine Mile Creek bridge replacement in Edina. Lane restrictions and ramp closures will impact traffic up to Hwy 55 through October, 2017.

Just as the I-94 and Hwy 169 projects wind down, the massive I-35W rebuild from 42nd Street up to the I-94 interchange ramps up. This project diverts traffic lanes and requires new bridges to improve safety and flow. A new transit station incorporated into a bridge over West Lake Street links buses right into downtown. The I-35W project launches in January 2018 and may take up to four years to complete.

Downtown Minneapolis

South Washington Ave. rebuild: Hennepin Ave. to 5th Ave.S.
Timeline – Now through September 2017

Nicollet Mall rebuild: Grant St. to S. Washington Ave.
Timeline – Now through November 2017

4th St. Reconstruction: 2nd Ave. N. to 4th Ave. S.
Timeline – January 2018 – 2019

While MnDOT freeway projects loom on the edges of downtown Minneapolis, major road construction is taking place in the heart of the city.  Currently Washington Avenue South and Nicollet Mall are being rebuilt. Just on the horizon, the 4th Street reconstruction plans will impact a major northbound thoroughfare starting in 2018.

The two-year, $50 million Nicollet Mall reconstruction project is on track to finished by this November. While Nicollet Mall resumes limited bus routes and bicycle traffic, the goal is to have a beautiful, walkable street for the 130,000 pedestrians who use it daily.

Washington Avenue South is a major street that feeds into I-35W going north and connects downtown to the University of Minnesota. Car and truck traffic lanes are being rebuilt up to Hennepin Avenue with new protected bike lanes. Pedestrian sidewalks and crossings are also being upgraded for better safety.

Construction of the 0.6-mile 4th Street South project is scheduled to begin in 2018 and will consist of improvements to the roadway, sidewalk, and utilities. The plan includes upgraded stops for planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line expansions and safer pedestrian access.

What You Can Do?

Want to avoid or reduce the headaches of road construction on your downtown commute? Move Minneapolis can help with faster, sustainable and less expensive options than driving alone. Transit, carpooling, bicycle commuting and telecommuting offer many transportation advantages: NorthStar Commuter Rail service has five morning trains running parallel to I-94 right into downtown Minneapolis. Express bus and rail commuters can park for free at Park And Ride lots. Buses, carpoolers and MNPASS users can use the I-394, I-94 or I-35W Express (EXPRS) lanes to zoom past the gridlock. Carpoolers receive discounted parking (as low as $20 per month at the ABC Ramps). Minneapolis has added miles of new, dedicated bike lanes allow for fast, safe access into and across downtown. Many downtown businesses offer bike rooms and lockers as employee amenities. Want to skip the commute altogether? Teleworking means working from home. Move Minneapolis provides resources to find which commuting options work best for you, and our services are FREE for commuters.

Northstar Commuter Rail:

Express Transit Buses:

Carpooling:

Bicycle Commuting:

MnPass:

Take the Get Around Pledge

Don’t add to the bumper-to-bumper traffic in construction zones with your single occupancy vehicle (SOV). Get smarter on your commute. Let Move Minneapolis help you get there:

Take the Pledge and:

  • Get More Commuting Options
  • Get Around Road Construction Better
  • Get There Faster, Avoid Gridlock
  • Save Money On Your Commute
  • Save The Environment