It's almost over: The Lowry Tunnel will fully reopen early Thursday

It's about 2 weeks earlier than planned.

Probably one of the most obnoxious road construction closures in the Twin Cities is coming to an end Thursday morning.

MnDOT says all lanes of Interstate 94 in the Lowry Tunnel will reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 – about two weeks earlier than initially planned – as long as the weather cooperates. 

Parts of the tunnel have been closed all summer as crews work on a huge, $46.3 million project on I-94 between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center

In order to get the Lowry Tunnel ready, MnDOT has been doing some heavy overnight work resulting in lane closures.

The interstate at the Lowry Tunnel shut down from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, MnDOT's website shows. And then from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday, the westbound lanes of I-94 at the tunnel will be closed. 

Once 5 a.m. Thursday hits, the Lowry Tunnel is basically back to normal.

Three lanes both directions, with the 40 mph speed limit lifted – it'll be back to the posted speed limit, MnDOT says.

The only blip is that night. From 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday westbound I-94 in tunnel will be closed. The Star Tribune says it's so crews can repair the lights that got smashed by trucks that drove through the tunnel when they weren't supposed to.

More construction projects

This news marks the second time in recent weeks MnDOT has said major road construction work in the Twin Cities will be done earlier than planned. The other is the Nine Mile Creek Bridge on Highway 169, which is now slated to reopen Oct. 1 – about a month early. 

Other ramps in the area that have been closed– including eastbound I-94 to southbound Interstate 35W, Highway 55 to eastbound I-94, northbound I-35W to westbound I-94 and 4th Avenue South to I-94 west – will all reopen by 5 a.m. Thursday, MnDOT's website shows.

Meanwhile, Interstate 394 east (and the HOV lane) to I-94 east will reopen Monday. It's been closed since Aug. 14

More on the project

Although the Lowry Tunnel part of the project will be done by the end of the month, work on I-94 will continue until the middle of next summer (with a break for winter starting at the end of October). 

And that means more road closures in our future. MnDOT had planned to close I-94 west from I-394 to Interstate 694 this weekend, but postponed the closure because it's going to rain.

Now that portion of the freeway will be closed from 10 p.m. Sept. 8 to 5 a.m. Sept. 11. 

MnDOT says the eastbound lanes from I-694 to I-394 will be closed from Sept. 15-18 and Sept. 22-25 as well so crews can pave the freeway. 

For the latest updates on the project, click here

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The Lowry Tunnel is going to be an even bigger nightmare this summer

The next three months are going to be pretty frustrating.

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

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

Good news: Highway 169 will reopen earlier than expected

Part of the highway has been closed since January.

Lowry Tunnel in Minneapolis closes Monday night

Interstate 94 on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis is closing in both directions at the Lowry Tunnel starting at 10 p.m. Monday so crews can clean the dirty underpass. The shutdown will last until 5 a.m. for the twice-a-year scrub-down.