BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Minnesotans en route to and from the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will have to plan their drive carefully this weekend.
A vital connection through the south Metro area, I-494 is closed in both directions between I-35W and Highway 100 from 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday.
The expressway is a vital connection through the south metro area.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the shutdown is necessary to remove the Xerxes Avenue Bridge over 494. The bridge will be replaced later.
The very busy I-35W/I-494 interchange will undergo longer lasting changes, according to MnDot spokesperson Breanna Grand.
"We will need to close some of the ramps at the 494/35W interchange for an extended period of time. Those ramps will remain closed after this weekend's closure," said Grand.
Specifically, two of the cloverleaf ramps will be closed for several weeks. They are northbound 35W to westbound 494 and westbound 494 to southbound 35W. Also, the southbound 35W ramp to westbound 494 will remain closed after this weekend's closures.
In the northern Metro area, eastbound I-694 will be closed between I-35W and Lexington Avenue. That closing in Arden Hills will also be from 10 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday. The closing is necessary to allow work on a new roadway between Highway 10 and Lexington Avenue.
Alternative routes for 494 drivers include the Crosstown 62 highway. For 694 motorists, Highway 36 is recommended. The detours will be posted.
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