ROSEVILLE, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed I-35W in both directions between Interstate 94 and Highway 62 in Minneapolis this weekend to complete traffic changes and utility work on the project stretching from downtown to Crosstown.

The weekend progress also signals a shift into the second phase of the 35W construction project.

“On Monday morning, we will open things up, we will have one lane into downtown Minneapolis, we haven’t had that for four months, so that is exciting news. That gives everyone an option as they make their decision to get around town. We will also have the extra lane to Third and Washington into downtown as well so people have that to look forward to,” said Dave Aeikens, MnDOT Metro Communications and Engagement.

When I-35W reopens, MnDOT says motorists traveling in the project area will see the following:

One lane will be open from northbound I-35W into downtown to 11th Street and East Grant Street. Access into downtown from northbound I-35W has been closed since June 2018. Access from northbound I-35W to Fifth Avenue South remains closed through 2019. Third Street and Washington Avenue continue to be good alternatives into downtown from northbound I-35W.

New road in its permanent location on southbound I-35W, just south of the I-35W and I-94 interchange. Motorists will drive on the new road and under the bridge over I-35W south that leads into downtown.

“If you go through there you can see new concrete and new structures going up and see things happening, and things are moving forward, we still have a lot of work to do and three years to go, so we need people to be patient, drive with care and plan ahead,” said Aeikens.

Other notable progress includes the completion of the Franklin and 38th Street bridges, and the near completion of the 26th Street bridge, to be finished in November. Aeikins also said the nearly $240 million dollar I-35W renovation project is on track and on schedule, and crews will work through the winter to complete the project by the fall of 2021.

MnDOT said the renovation of the freeway was necessary to install new concrete on more than 50-year-old freeway, along with rebuilding 11 bridges and repairing four more bridges. MnDOT continues to encourage people to make a new connection to other forms of transportation such as transit, carpools, MnPASS, and use alternative routes.

Additionally, people should consider alternatives to traveling to and from work such as telecommuting or driving during off-peak hours.

An additional weekend closure of I-35W is tentatively planned for early November to demolish the 28th Street bridge over I-35W. The 26th Street bridge will reopen before the 28th Street bridge is demolished.

To learn more about the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown project, visit: www.mndot.gov/35w94