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Expect delays as I-494 construction project begins in south metro

The project includes adding an E-Z pass lane on I-494 from Highway 100 to Interstate 35W, in addition to a new flyover ramp from 35W to 494.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Over the course of the next few years, the stretch of Interstate 494 between Highway 169 to MSP will undergo a major seasonal overhaul, starting this summer. 

"A lot of the work this year is prep work to build crossovers and put temporary pavements in," said MnDOT's I-494 project manager, Greg Asche. 

The project includes adding an E-Z pass lane on 494 from Highway 100 to Interstate 35W and a new flyover ramp from 35W to 494.

"There's also new trails and wider bicycle and pedestrian facilities as well as a new pedestrian bridge at Chicago Avenue," explained Asche. 

Leaders with the Department of Transportation said there's also a safety component in all of this.  

"Much of the pavement and the bridges in this corridor are approaching the end of their useful service life and so they're due for replacement," said Asche. 

The project is being done with the hope of easing the commute for the hundreds of thousands of people who travel through each year, including folks like Noah Sutton, who works at Schmitt Music just off the interstate in Bloomington. 

"I head out at about 12-12:30 to get to work, and I notice probably at about that time, there's some choke points that I experience at the junction where 35 goes to 494," said Sutton. 

For the team at Schmitt's, if it means an easier commute to keep the revenue streams flowing, well, they're all in. 

"We have a lot of customers that come from the farther west areas of the metro to get here and so a lot of people are exiting Bush Lake Road to get into the store," said Sutton. 

Knowing any setbacks this improvement may cause are just seasonal.

"Yeah, you know nothing lasts forever," said Sutton. 

Leaders with the Department of Transportation say 2024 and 2025 are when the major impacts of the construction will be most noticeable, with the $377 million project wrapping up in 2026. 

For anyone interested in receiving email updates on the project you can sign up on MNDOT's website


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