No sooner is winter over then construction season is back, and it's back with a vengeance for those planning on flying from MSP Airport this summer.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced it will be undertaking a major reconstruction of Highway 5 near the airport beginning in April and lasting through October.
And as part of that work, MnDOT is advising that travelers should give themselves an extra HOUR to get to the airport while the work is going on.
"We want people to make it to the gate in plenty of time, so plan ahead and leave one hour earlier," said Mike Barnes, MnDOT Metro District engineer.
"We’re doing all we can to limit the disruption to motorists; this would typically be a two-year project but we’re committed to completing it in one construction season."
The work will see Hwy. 5 rebuilt between 34th Avenue in Bloomington and Hwy. 62, along with the repair of several bridges and ramps.
It will mean Hwy. 5 closes eastbound starting in April through late July, with westbound closing from August through October.
Ramps near the Hwy. 5, 55 and 62 interchange will close in July, while there will also be closures at the I-494/I-35E interchange starting April through October.
The plan is for the work to be completed in time for MEA weekend.
"We’ve been working closely and planning with MnDOT and airport stakeholders for many months now in anticipation of this project,” said Roy Fuhrmann, chief operations officer for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
"While the construction will cause some short-term pain for travelers, we look forward to future improvements and long-term benefits."
MnDOT has launched a website, AroundtheAirport.com, to help travelers plan routes around the closures and find travel alternatives.
One of the easier alternatives will be the Blue Line light rail, which has a direct line to MSP and will not be affected by the work.