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Road construction is impacting downtown employers, commuters and residents. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has several highway construction projects surrounding downtown scheduled for 2018.

The I-94 resurfacing project started last year and is scheduled for completion by the end of summer 2018. I-35W, from Roseville to University Avenue, will be resurfaced over the summer months with six weekend highway closures scheduled starting in mid-July 2018. These projects, however, are just speed-bumps when compared to the massive, four-year 35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown rebuild project taking place just south of downtown. This section of I-35W averages 190,000 vehicles a day is being reduced to 95,000 – from 10 lanes to just five. Lane, ramp and bridge closures are already impacting traffic as the project continues to ramp up. The full weight of construction begins in the late spring and will continue in stages until late 2021. 

Highway Projects In Minneapolis

I-35W Resurfacing from Roseville to University Avenue in NE Minneapolis Timeline – Six weekend highway closures from mid-July – August, 2018

35W@94 Project – Downtown to Crosstown Timeline – Now – 2021 (4 year project)

  • Replacement of I-94 & I-35W interchange
  • 11 Bridge replacements
  • Transit Station construction
  • Lane and ramp closures and detours

The 35W@94 project ramps up during the summer of 2018.  Many freeway entrance and exit ramps will be temporarily closed during the various stages of construction. The new Franklin Avenue and 38th Street bridges are now open for traffic.

A new transit station built into the bridge over West Lake Street will link buses onto an express lane into downtown. The transit station will be part of the Orange BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Line.

Downtown Minneapolis

As of June 11, 2018, the following entrances and exits to downtown Minneapolis will be closed:

  • From Downtown: 12th Street to Southbound I-35W
  • From Downtown: 4th Avenue to Southbound I-35W
  • Into Downtown: Northbound I-35W to 11th Street
  • Into Downtown: Northbound I-35W to Grant Street
  • Into Downtown: Northbound I-35W to 5th Avenue


The 31st Street exit and entrance ramps to I-35W have been converted to BUS ONLY along with added BUS ONLY lanes on Park and Portland Avenues (during rush hours). Buses from the South Metro have faster access to downtown. Single-occupancy vehicle traffic on northbound 35W is now limited to entering downtown via 3rd Street.

NOTE: Some ramps will reopen in fall 2018 to buses for direct access to I-35W.



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:


Bicycle Commuting:


Live WebCAM

Courtesy of MnDOT