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After 4 years, I-35W construction overhaul enters its final hours

MnDOT says everything will be open by the end of the day Friday.
The Lake Street bus station on July 25, 2020.

The Lake Street bus station on July 25, 2020.

It's the final countdown.

The $239 million I-35W/I-94 construction project that began just over four years ago is just hours away from completion.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said recently all lanes, ramps and bridges impacted by the project will be open on Sept. 10.

A MnDOT spokesperson told Bring Me The News Friday that everything remains on track — meaning "everything will be open by 11:59 p.m. tonight."

When work on the yearslong project began in August of 2017, motorists met the news with groans and dismay. MnDOT promised the work would improve the highway in numerous ways. So what was actually done?

  • New concrete for stretches that were 50 years old
  • Eleven bridges rebuilt
  • Four bridges repaired
  • The construction of a brand new bus station at Lake Street
  • New access ramps from I-35W south to Lake street, and I-35W north to 28th Street
  • E-ZPass lanes near downtown
  • Wider, more accessible pedestrian bridges
  • A rebuilt ramp from I-35W north to I-94 west that will "reduce congestion and increase traffic mobility"

The one question to which we don't have an answer: How many zipper merge violations were there over the past four years?

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