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Update: The major construction project on I-94 begins today

The interstate will be reduced to two lanes starting in May.

Construction on Interstate 94 in the Twin Cities has been pushed up, thanks to an early spring.

Eastbound I-94 will be down to two lanes between Interstate 694/I-94 split and Highway 252 starting Monday, March 20, the Minnesota Department of Transportation says. The agency hadn't planned to close any lanes until mid-April, but an early spring is allowing crews to start early, the Star Tribune reports.

This closure is part of a $46.3 million construction project on a nine-mile stretch of the interstate.

You can read more about the project in the original story from Feb. 22 below.

Add Interstate 94 in the Twin Cities to the list of roads to avoid this construction season.

The interstate between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center will be down to two lanes in each direction for four months starting in May, the Minnesota Department of Transportation says.

That's just one of several traffic annoyances expected as part of MnDOT's $46.3 million construction project on the nine-mile stretch of interstate between Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and Shingle Creek Parkway in Brooklyn Center (more on what they'll be doing below).

The overall construction project is slated to begin in March (with the I-94 lane closures coming a couple months later, as mentioned above). The work will last until July 2018, MnDOT says. There's a public open house Thursday from 4-7 p.m. where officials will answer people's questions about the project.

What will they be doing?

Crews will be resurfacing I-94, repairing 50 bridges on and over I-94, fixing tile in the Lowry and Portland Avenue tunnels, replacing guardrail, improving drainage, replacing all entrance and exit ramps, and installing anti-icing systems on the roads from westbound I-94 to westbound Interstate 694, MnDOT notes.

MnDOT says doing this will make the road surface smother, make the bridges and pavement last longer and reduce damage to freight goods that are transported on the road.

Here's what else is closing

During the duration of the project, be prepared for some other closures that could affect how you get around – things like bridge or ramp closures that only last a week or two, or off-peak lane closures for short period of time.

You can check out a full list of the possible impacts here.

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