Interstate 494’s stretch between Richfield, Bloomington and Edina is arguably one of the biggest headaches for Twin Cities commuters.
Fortunately, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to ease traffic congestion through multiple improvement projects—including the construction of two auxiliary lanes—beginning in Summer 2012. MnDOT anticipates the total cost to be $30 million.
A MnDOT representative is presenting the plans to the and city staff Tuesday night. A special session is at 6 p.m. in the Bartholomew Conference Room at .
Lanes and Bridges
Construction begins this summer on two westbound auxiliary lanes—one running between Portland and Nicollet Avenues and another between I-35W and France Avenue. During the construction of the auxiliary lanes, the Portland Avenue ramp and many other connections to I-494 will alternately be closed.
Like the Lyndale and Penn avenue bridges, the Xerxes Avenue Bridge is widening, to up to six lanes, to accommodate growing traffic. The bridge will be removed during construction of the auxiliary lanes, and MnDOT anticipates the bridge to be complete in the spring or summer of 2013.
MnDOT will also:
- Construct a soundwall (if necessary) along the north side of the interstate, between Penn and Xerxes avenues;
- Replace the center median guardrail with a concrete median;
- Resurface the interstate in both directions from 34th Avenue and Highway 100.
A more detailed schedule for construction and closure dates is expected in the early spring.