Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

June 5, 2018

Travelers urged to be ready with closures coming to I-35W, I-94

Officials encourage alternative access points, using 511mn.org or Metro Transit to get to popular events and destinations in Minneapolis this summer

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Motorists should be ready to take alternate routes or use alternative modes of transit to get into downtown Minneapolis for work, business or their entertainment plans as the Minnesota Department of Transportation begins closures into and near downtown starting June 8 as part of a major roads improvement and reconstruction project.

Beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 8, MnDOT will close the access from Interstate 35W north to Fifth Avenue and 11th and East Grant streets into downtown and Fourth Avenue and 12th Street from downtown to I-35W south. This work is all part of the I-35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown project.

State and local officials Tuesday urged people to consider the many open alternative routes and modes of travel, give themselves extra time to travel, and remain patient.

“We thank Minnesota motorists for their patience as we make badly needed improvements to our aging roads and bridges in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Better roads connect people to jobs, play, friends and family. MnDOT and its partners are working hard to build a stronger community,” said Charlie Zelle, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “We know that travel this summer in and around downtown Minneapolis will be challenging at times – but there’s so much to enjoy in Minneapolis that we encourage everyone to plan their trips ahead as they make their way downtown this summer. Taking Metro Transit or biking are other great alternatives to getting downtown.”

“Downtown Minneapolis is open and accessible for everyone to enjoy this summer,” said Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “In the next few weeks, 511mn.org is the best place for motorists to go find the best route and method to get in and out of Downtown from the south metro area. Visit 511mn.org or use the Metro Transit Trip planner to get downtown.”  

Additional Metro Area road closures beginning June 8
In addition to the closures near downtown Minneapolis, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, June 8:

  • I-94 will close from I-394 to I-35W until 5 a.m. Monday, June 11.
  • The ramp from I-94 east to I-35W south will close until fall 2021.
  • The ramp from I-35W north to 31st and Lake Street will close to general traffic at least until fall 2018.
  • The ramp from 31st Street to I-35W south will close to general traffic at least until fall 2018.

Looking ahead:

  • At 10 p.m. Friday, June 15, I-35W will close until 5 a.m. Monday, June 18.
  • The morning of June 18, I-35W will be reduced to three northbound lanes, including one MnPASS, and two southbound lanes until 2021.

New website provides details on major road improvement projects across Metro Area
MnDOT today also launched a new easy to use website  for motorists detailing the critical road and bridge improvement projects underway across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area this summer. These projects represent a significant undertaking to build better roads and a multimodal transportation system that supports a growing economy and a stronger community. Visit: www.mndot.gov/betterroads.

“These repairs --- to 50 year old infrastructure--are critical to the livability and economic vitality of Minnesota,” said Scott McBride, MnDOT Metro district engineer. “This website is one easy place that motorists can go to learn about the incredible work happening now.”

Motorists will find many routes available in and out of downtown as improvement projects continue
Getting into downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:

  • Use the official detour that takes I-35W to Third Street
  • Take I-394 east into downtown
  • Take I-94 west to Fourth and Seventh Streets
  • Take I-35W south to Washington Avenue
  • Take Hiawatha Avenue to Seventh Street

Getting out of downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:

  • Take Fourth Street to I-35W
  • Take Third Street to I-94 west or I-394 west
  • Take Washington Avenue to I-35W
  • Take Sixth Street to I-94 east
  • Take Eighth Street to Hiawatha

Partners offer alternatives to driving solo
To help people travel into downtown, MnDOT has partnered with Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Move Minneapolis, eWorkplace and others to provide many alternatives people can use to make a connection into downtown.

  • Metro Transit is adding 50 bus trips and buses that normally take I-35W will use designated lanes on Park and Portland avenues to ensure timely trips.
  • Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is adding a route July 2 that will depart Eagan Transit Station and connect riders with transit options at 46th Street in Minneapolis, while avoiding I-35W.
  • Motorists can get a parking spot in MnDOT’s ABC ramps near Target Field for $20 a month with an approved carpool with a route that avoids I-35W.
  • Employers who offer telecommuting to their employees can connect with eWorkplace to help workers make the transition.
  • Additionally, earlier this year, MnDOT added temporary lanes on I-394 west to Highway 100, on Highway 62 west from Valley View Road to Highway 100, and will add a lane on I-35W north from 31st Street to Third Street.

About the I-35W@94 improvement project

  • MnDOT, Metro Transit, the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County are partners in the $239 million historic improvement and reconstruction project from 43rd Street to I-94 near downtown Minneapolis. The project provides benefits for motorists, transit users, walkers and bicyclists. The work started in September 2017 and is scheduled to be complete in fall 2021.
  • The work includes completely reconstructing 2.5 miles of freeway, reconstructing 11 bridges and repairing four bridges, adding new access ramps from I-35W north to 28th Street and from I-35W south to Lake Street, and replacing ramps from I-35W north to I-94 west and I-94 east to I-35W south. Bus riders will experience a new two-story transit station at Lake Street and walkers and bicyclists will have new pedestrian bridges at 24th and 40th streets and improvements near the Midway Greenway. To learn more about this project, visit: www.mndot.gov/35w94.

Please plan ahead, know your route and check www.511mn.org and the project web site for updates.