One of the busiest stretches of highway in the west metro is about to become more of a headache for drivers.
A major reconstruction of Highway 100 in St. Louis Park is resuming this week, and road work will cause major traffic disruptions, FOX 9 reports.
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 the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
But the short-term pain for commuters will be high. MnDOT officials told area residents at a February open house to expect their drive time to be up to six times longer than it usually is, the Star Tribune reported. According to the paper, the highway is used by 132,000 drivers each day.
This year's construction work will get underway in earnest in the next few weeks. MnDOT closed the Minnetonka Boulevard Bridge overpass, as well as the entrance and exit ramps at the Hwy. 100 interchange, on Monday.
Traffic is being detoured onto Lake Street, Wooddale Avenue, Hwy. 7 and Beltline Boulevard. Here's a detailed map of the detour.
Metro Transit will adjust its schedule for bus routes affected by the closure of Minnetonka Boulevard, according to MnDOT. You can see bus schedules on Metro Transit's website.
In about a month, traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction, and all the traffic will be moved to the southbound side of the highway. These ramps will be closed from April through July:
- 27th Street ramp to southbound Hwy 100
- Ramp from Hwy 7 to northbound Hwy 100
- Ramp from northbound Hwy 100 to Barry Street will close for about 30 days
Lots more closures and traffic impacts will occur through the entire summer and fall. Here's a complete list of what's happening when.
MnDOT said this stretch of Hwy. 100 is the last "substandard" section of that highway, and is one of the most congested freeways in the metro area.
The agency notes that the highway was originally built in the mid-1930s, and it's part of the first beltway around the Twin Cities.