Apr 2, 2024 - News

Minnesota's summer road work: Pain for south metro commuters, North Shore visitors and Uptowners

Illustration of different traffic signs with emojis on top.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Winter's over and Minnesota's other season — road construction — is just beginning.

Why it matters: The 200 summer projects announced Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Transportation will enhance several busy stretches of freeways and highways, replace aging bridges and bring other infrastructure up to date.

Here are some of the major projects:

Richfield/Bloomington/Edina

The $377 million I-494 project to replace bridges and re-configure the I-35W interchange has begun year 2 of 4. Expect plenty of ramp and lane closures, as well as local road shutdowns.

94 in the east metro

Lane and ramp closures begin Sunday on a stretch of I-94 between Oakdale and Woodbury while crews repave the freeway. Work will run through late October, when the two-year project wraps up.

Highway 36

Crews will resurface pavement between I-35W and Edgerton Street in Little Canada. Starting in mid-June, expect lane, ramp and shoulder closures and a series of full weekend shutdowns of the highway.

North Shore vibe killer

Lake Superior getaways won't come easy this summer as pesky bridge replacements on I-35 are back. Starting in mid-May, traffic on a 3.2-mile stretch in Hinckley will be reduced to a single-lane, head-to-head. This is the first of two summers for the project.

Hennepin Avenue

While not a MnDOT project, the two-year reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis began this week. The avenue is shut down while crews work between Lake Street and 26th Street this summer.

What they're saying: "When we all slow down and obey work zone speed limits, set aside our cell phones and other distractions, plan ahead and remain patient, we become safer together," MnDOT commissioner Nancy Daubenberger said in a news release.

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