MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minn. - Work on the roads could cause delays for air travelers heading for the skies at the Humphrey Terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
A major construction project began Monday to create a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at I-494 and 34th Avenue. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says commuters and travelers who use the 34th Ave. ramps should expect delays and detours, and allow for extra driving time throughout the construction process.
The DDI project promises to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance safety. Construction will occur in five phases and will conclude in November 2013. During that time, drivers should follow the road signs to the 24th Ave. and I-494 detour.
The work will also impact bus and light rail mass transit activity intermittently.
Here are some notable dates as the project unfolds. All are subject to change depending on weather.
- July 1, 2013: Closure of I-494 westbound exit ramp to 34th Ave. To access 34th Ave., drivers will continue to the 24th Ave. exit off I-494 and follow Airport Lane to 34th Ave.
- July 19, 2013: Closure of 34th Ave. entrance ramp to I-494 eastbound. From 34th Ave., drivers will take Airport Lane to 24th Ave. to the I-494 eastbound entrance.
- Aug. 9, 2013: Closure of 34th Ave. entrance ramp to I-494 westbound. From 34th Ave., drivers will take Airport Lane to 24th Ave. and use the 24th Ave. entrance onto westbound I-494.
- Aug. 30, 2013: Closure of I-494 eastbound exit ramp to 34th Ave. For access to 34th Ave., drivers will take the 24th Ave. exit off of I-494 and follow Airport Lane to 34th Ave.
- Beginning Sept. 20, 2013: Full closure of 34th Ave. to through traffic under I-494 in both directions. Entrance and exit ramps for I-494 will be right-turn ONLY. Drivers should use 24th Ave. as the alternate route.
DDIs are designed to improve traffic flow at busy intersections, reduce congestion and enhance safety by allowing left turn movements to flow more freely. The 34th Ave. DDI will be the first such U.S. project that incorporates railway commuting as well as motorist traffic.
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