Once completed, this project will enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits, replace aging infrastructure, and better accommodate freight movements through the interchanges next to the Clure Public Terminal.
Due to higher costs than estimated, Component 2 (Highway 53 bridges) and Component 3 (Garfield Avenue/I-535 interchange) are deferred until funding is secured. In November of 2019, it was announced that the project as a whole would be deferred one year. Some construction will begin this fall, but the public will not see significant traffic impacts until the spring of 2021. Next spring, the project will move forward with I-35 traffic in single lane configuration. In the fall, northbound traffic will remain on I-35, and southbound traffic will be moved to Lower Michigan Street as planned.
Summary of work
Reconstruct I-35/I-535/Hwy 53 interchange to improve safety by:
Providing a new conventional design
Relocating all exits and entrances to the right side of the roadway
Improving merging sight distance and eliminating merge conflicts
Eliminating weaving problems near the interchange
Providing lane continuity for through I-35 traffic
We have installed a time-lapse camera focused on the 27th Avenue West bridge project. View it here. The camera posts an updated photo every two minutes. Click on camera 2 and on the photos to enlarge and zoom in on the project. At different points throughout the project, we will collect the photos and create a video. Thank you to Lamar for the use of their billboard. We will have a second camera mounted on the Garfield Avenue overpass for a different view of the project next spring.
See what the freeway will look like when completed from a motorist’s view heading north on I-35 through the Twin Ports Interchange area, then heading to southbound I-35 from I-535, or the Blatnik Bridge, through the Twin Ports Interchange area.
What’s that mound between the interstate?
We get that question a lot. Some people ask if it’s hay bales. What it is actually is our testing site.
With the Twin Ports Interchange project, MnDOT will remove all low level bridges on I-35 and replace them on an earth fill inside of retaining walls. This is being done because dirt fills are less maintenance and less cost than bridges. What you see is a test "ground improvement" section, and the pipes are instrumentation for monitoring settlement and lateral displacement.