Another week, another traffic tangle from metro road construction

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Drivers in the western Twin Cities metro area will be affected by a major road construction project on Interstate 494 beginning Monday morning.

The $86 million project along I-494 between I-94 in Maple Grove and I-394 in Minnetonka will add a third traffic lane in one stretch, replace several bridges over the highway and repair several on- and off-ramps.

On Monday the repair work resumes in earnest. That's when all lanes of traffic on that stretch of I-494 southbound will be closed until the fall. All the traffic will be shifted to the northbound side of the freeway, according to KSTP.

 I-494 project (Map: MnDOT)

I-494 project (Map: MnDOT)

Several on- and off-ramps will be closed for the same length of time.

The stretch of interstate is quite busy, with nearly 100,000 vehicles using it on a daily basis, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

During morning rush hour, there will be two lanes of traffic going southbound and one lane going north. During the evening rush, the configuration will be reversed: two lanes will be open going northbound, while one lane will stay open southbound.

You can find more details of the project here, including the ramp closures and detours.

It's just one of several significant road construction projects in the metro area this year which will impact commuters. Another major project is Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park, which is being rebuilt and expanded with additional lanes.

The $60 million rebuild is on a two-mile stretch of Hwy. 100 from just south of Interstate 394 to I-494. When it’s done, the highway will have three lanes of traffic going in each direction as well as upgraded entrance and exit ramps, according to MnDOT.

Coming up on Friday, Hwy. 100 will close between I-394 and Hwy 62, and drivers will need to follow the detour. And on April 20, traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction on the southbound side of the highway. Here's a complete timetable for that project.

MnDOT has an ambitious road repair and construction plan for 2015, which includes some 290 projects statewide.

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