Update on I-35W – 94 Project


This is an update on the I-35W@94 project. We have our second of three weekend closures coming up. This one, people we will see some significant changes when they return to work on Monday, June 8. The web page is here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/35w94/ You will find schedules, maps and information about getting around.

The schedule is weather permitting and subject to change. Please plan ahead, provide additional time and be patient.

This weekend: June 8-11

We will start work on the bridges and stretch of highway that leads in and out of downtown Minneapolis. Access into downtown to 11th and East Grant streets and Fifth Avenue will close for four months starting at 10 p.m. Friday, June 8. Access from downtown at Fourth Avenue at 12th Street will close to  general traffic for three years. When northbound opens into downtown in four months, it is possible only one lane will be available for all traffic.

Motorists will see I-94 closed at 10 p.m. Friday, June 8 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 11 from I-394 to I-35W while crews knock down bridges over I-94.

I-35W north will close at 10 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday from Highway 62 to I-94. Because I-94 is closed, the detour is Highway 62 east to Hiawatha Ave. to I-35W north.  A map is attached with detours for the weekend closures.

The ramp from I-35W north to Lake and 31st will close to general traffic, 10 p.m. Friday, June 8.  And the ramp from 31st  Street to I-35 south will close to general traffic until fall. MnDOT will evaluate that set up in the fall.

The ramp from 35th to northbound I-35W will close Friday night.

The ramp from I-94 east to I-35W south will close Friday, June 8 for three years.

Express buses will start using the transit lane on Park and Portland avenues during rush hour Monday.

Make a new connection

Commuters will want to decide what option they prefer to get downtown as these closures start. Here is a reminder at what is available:

If you prefer to drive, take I-35W north to Third Street. Also, Hiawatha to Seventh Street, I-394 east to downtown, I-94 east to Fourth and Seventh Streets will get you into downtown.

To get out of downtown, Fourth Street will get you to I-35W, Eighth Street to Hiawatha, Sixth Street to I-94 east and Third Street to I-394 west and I-94 west. You can find these details and maps one the project web page.

For people seeking alternatives to driving alone, please consider whether any of these fit your schedule and lifestyle:

If you would like to take a bus. Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority are expanding service and will have dedicated express routes using Park and Portland Avenues in and out of downtown Minneapolis during rush hour.  Metro Transit has a website dedicated to the project with updated route information and an opportunity to sign up for Rider Alerts. The web page is www.metrotransit.org/35W

For route updates from Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, go to www.mvta.com.

If you want to carpool, bike, walk or take transit. Move Minneapolis assists employers with transitioning employees to carpooling, riding the bus, train or bicycle. People who carpool can get a construction special and park in the ABC ramps in downtown Minneapolis for $20 a month if they live in an approved area. A card is attached with more info about the ABC ramps carpool construction special.

If you would like to work from home for a few hours a day. eWorkplace assists employers in helping employees telecommute.

June 15-18

Motorists will see fewer lanes on I-35W south of downtown Monday, June 18.  They can use three lanes going north with one MnPass lane beyond 31st Street. Three lanes for all traffic will continue north from 31st Street to Third Street, which can be taken into downtown. Two lanes will be available for all traffic going south.

I-94 west will be reduced from three lanes to two between Nicollet and Chicago avenues. This will be for four months.

Getting this set up will require a full closure of I-35W from Highway 62 to I-94 while crews reconfigure the freeway. The closure will start at 10 p.m. Friday, June 15 and end by 5 a.m. Monday, June 18.

Commuters will want to consider one of the options other than driving I-35W to get downtown or around the closures because fewer lanes will be available and there is expected to be congestion.

The 24th Street pedestrian bridge will close June 15.

Metro Transit has some repairs planned on the blue line light rail from Franklin Avenue to Target Field Station. Buses will replace train service from 7 p.m. Friday, June 15 to 3 a.m. Monday, June 18.

What has MnDOT done to provide additional travel lanes?:

Motorists will see an additional lane on I-394 west from downtown to Highway 100, an additional lane on Highway 62 west from Valley View Road to Highway 100 and an additional lane on I-35W north from 31st Street to Third Street is being added this weekend.

Please do not drive through local streets if you do not live or work there. City streets are not designed for freeway-level traffic. Thank you for your consideration. If you want to drive around I-35W, please use state highways such as Highway 100, Hiawatha or I-394.

Thank you for your patience during this project. MnDOT understands that it will be inconvenient and a challenge for some people. We apologize for the inconvenience. This project seeks to build better roads and bring improvements to I-35W that will make it safer, more efficient and will provide better access for bus riders, walkers and bikers. Please see the web site for the details on the benefits of this project.

June 7 event for photographers on 24th Street bridge

Don’t miss out on your last chance to get photos of the Minneapolis skyline from the 24th Street pedestrian bridge. The bridge will close on Friday, June 15 until fall 2021. The new bridge will sit 20 feet lower than the current bridge, which means you won’t have the same view when it reopens. Take your photos by Thursday, June 14, or join us Thursday, June 7 from 6 to 8 a.m. on the bridge for a send-off event with Glam Doll Donuts. Send current and past photos toinfo@35w94.com. We’ll include them in our bridge opening celebration in 2021.

New web site

MnDOT launched a new web site Tuesday for motorists detailing critical road and bridge improvement projects underway in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area this summer. These projects represent a significant effort to build better roads and multimodal transportation system that supports a growing economy and stronger community. Visit: www.mndot.gov/betterroads

I-35W@94 hotline

If you have questions about the project, you can call 612-284-6125 or email info@35w@94.com