See you next year! Road construction in Minnesota officially done for 2014

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Minnesota's road construction season for 2014 has come to a close – just in time for winter.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced on Thursday that work on 308 projects across the state had finished for the year, with construction teams downing tools until at least the spring.

"No doubt about it, 2014 was a busy construction year for the state," MnDOT commissioner Charlie Zelle said in a news release. "We understand hundreds of road construction projects going throughout the summer can slow people's commutes, but these projects are necessary to ensure that Minnesota's transportation system is safe, reliable and efficient."

The summer program cost the department $1.1 billion and included 74 projects in the Twin Cities metro area, 194 in the rest of Minnesota, and 40 at railway crossings and airports, WCCO notes.

Among the major projects undertaken this year was the long-awaited improvements made to Interstate 494 in Plymouth, which is designed to relieve congestion by adding a third lane to a 6-mile stretch of the road.

Around $15 million was also spent this year for continued rebuilding work on the southbound Lafayette Bridge crossing over the Mississippi on Highway 52, which will be completed next September.

Projects outside of the Twin Cities have include construction work on Interstate 94, which has seen work to add extra lanes at Monticello and between Rogers and St. Michael, KSTP reports.

When announcing the 2014 program in April, Zelle said that this year and next year are likely to be the last to see such high levels of funding for construction projects, the Pioneer Press reported, because of an expected squeeze on federal funding.

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