Skip to main content

Major road construction set to start, congestion indigestion feared in the north metro

  • Author:
  • Updated:

There are two seasons in Minnesota, as several jokes about winter go, and sometimes the punch line is "road construction." But come Monday, the joke will be on anyone who dare travel the roads of the suburbs north of the Twin Cities.

Seriously, folks, a question with a shorter answer might be where can you drive?

As we reported Thursday, about a mile-and-a-half span of Minnesota Highway 36 in Maplewood will close Monday for most of the summer, the according to the Pioneer Press.

Minnesota Department of Transportation will close both directions the roadway at 12 a.m. from U.S. 61 to White Bear Avenue for 75 days to replace an intersection. A posted detour will advise drivers to use I-35E and I-694 as alternative routes around the construction zone.

But now comes the news that, hey, you might not want to get on 694 either. The Star Tribune is reporting a potential "carmageddon" -- though we will refrain from such tempting terminology -- saying that "Unsuspecting drivers are headed for major traffic trouble Monday when a five-month road project begins squeezing Interstate 694. The main commuting corridor for the north metro carries 150,000 drivers a day."

Tim Harlow points out there are actually two projects affecting 694, with lane closures 24 hours a day between Hwy. 252 and I-35W. That’s on top of work already in progress on I-694 extending east from 35W to Hwy. 10, meaning the construction zone will extend 10 miles along the north metro’s main east-west corridor.

The $21 million project includes putting new decks on bridges at the 252/694/94 interchange and patching concrete and joints that have crumbled below the surface. "The road also will be ground down," according to the Strib.

It will also affect bus routes, and will probably bring additional traffic to routes such as I-494 and 35W, Hwys. 169 and 100, and Central Avenue, University Avenue and East River Road.

Civic leaders are also preparing for eastbound backups as far west as Maple Grove. Maple Grove? To Maplewood?

MnDot spokeman Ken Barnard confides to the Strib that he is "really concerned about when this project starts, about traffic delays big time" and that "It’s not going to be pleasant."

On a lighter note, Barnard offers a quip for commuters: “They are going to get to know their cars better."

Next Up

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.

Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse

7 Minnesota pumpkin patches to visit this fall

Plenty of patches to pick the best pumpkin

slushy snow

Sven Sundgaard responds to AccuWeather's winter forecast

Take anything beyond a couple weeks with a grain of salt, warns meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.


Rage Against the Machine cancels rest of tour, including MN shows

The cancellations include a 2023 stop at the Target Center.

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.03.16 AM

Watch: Speeding drivers use Minneapolis bike lanes to overtake

Community members have called for better safety precautions in response.

Jamal Smith

Jamal Smith sentenced to life for Plymouth road rage killing

A guilty verdict was determined by a jury this summer.


Construction to begin on $39M North Loop project

Minneapolis-based Schafer Richardson is developing the six-story, 204-unit market rate apartment building in the North Loop area of Minneapolis' Warehouse District. The Business Journal reports Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. is set to start constructing the $39 million project dubbed "Third North" on Thursday. The apartment complex is scheduled to open in December of next year.

Downtown St. Paul: Construction congestion expected

Work being done on St. Paul's Cedar Street bridge related to construction of the Central Corridor light-rail transit line will create various night-time restrictions of Interstates 94 and 35E, beginning Sunday and lasting through Thursday, the Pioneer Press reports.