Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

I-494: Airport to Highway 169

Bloomington, Richfield, Edina, Eden Prairie in Hennepin County

About this project

Metro Wide Overhead Signing Project locations map

I-494: Airport to Hwy 169 Project location map.

Click map for larger version.

We are working with our partners to provide environmental documentation and preliminary and final engineering reconstruction of the I-494 freeway that travels through the cities of Bloomington, Richfield, Eden Prairie and Edina.

In 2018, Corridors of Commerce, a state road improvement grant program, awarded the project $134 million to introduce E-ZPASS lanes from EB France Ave. to Hwy 77 and from WB Hwy 77 to I-35W. An additional $70 million was awarded to construct a directional ramp for NB I-35W to WB I-494 traffic.

The I-494 vision is a major construction project that cannot be built all at once due to funding limitations and impacts during construction. The implementation plan identified four separate construction projects to complete the entire I-494 corridor vision.

In 2021, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $60 million to aid in the construction of the first project of the I-494 corridor vision implementation plan.

The current stage is focusing on the first construction project to finalize preliminary design and environmental review process. The first construction project will extend from East Bush Lake Rd. to 12th Ave.

To learn more about the I-494 vision, visit the online open house.

Summary of work

Metro Wide Overhead Signing Project locations map

I-494: Airport to Hwy 169 project timeline.

Click timeline for larger version.

  • Provide a transit advantage to increase the number of people who can be efficiently moved through the area
  • Improve the reliability of the average rush-hour trip
  • Improve safety
  • Restore pavement to preserve infrastructure and provide a smoother ride
  • Improve drainage systems to reduce localized flooding and reduce run-off into the Minnesota River
  • Preserve existing bridges

Traffic impacts

Current

  • The current stage of the project does not involve construction and no traffic impacts are anticipated.

Future

  • A review of how the first project may be constructed is underway with the goal of minimizing impacts once construction begins in 2023.

Future improvements

The goals for the I-494: Airport to Hwy 169 corridor is to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on the highway. The corridor is divided into 3 focus areas: 1) I-494 mainline, 2) I-35W and I-494 interchange, and 3) changes to highway access at Nicollet Ave., Portland Ave., and 12th Ave.

I-494 between the Airport and Hwy 169 project location map

To best address current and future conditions for I-494, E-ZPass lanes were selected because they provided the best opportunity to address the needs in the selection criteria. A E-ZPass lane in each direction will add capacity to the interstate from Hwy 169 to Hwy 77. E-ZPass lanes could be used by all users during most hours of the day, and by buses and vehicles with 2 or more occupants during peak rush hour.

Visit the online open house to learn more about mainline design options and the evaluation process.

A turbine interchange will be constructed to address the goals of the study, including improved traffic operations and safety on both I-35W and I-494. The new ramp in the northeast corner of the interchange will allow traffic heading northbound I-35W to WB I-494 to flow more efficiently.

Visit the online open house to learn more about the proposed turbine interchange.

Existing entrance and exit ramps at Lyndale Ave., Nicollet Ave., Portland Ave. and 12th Ave. are too close, which causes congestion and safety issues on I-494. To reduce congestion and improve safety on I-494, MnDOT will:

  • Close all ramps at Nicollet Ave. and 12th Ave.
  • Create a full-access interchange at Portland Ave. with two on ramps and two off ramps

These improvements will provide adequate space for vehicles to safely enter and exit the interstate while upgrading all three bridges to better serve local pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

I-494 between the Airport and Hwy 169 project interchange options

Initially five interchange options were identified for Portland Avenue. After evaluating each interchange option, the team determined a tight diamond interchange design would best manage traffic operations and address safety concerns on the local road network and the interstate.

I-494 between the Airport and Hwy 169 project  interchange options

Visit the online open house to learn more about the interchange designs and changes to access at Portland Ave., Nicollet Ave. and 12th Ave.

The I-494 vision is a major construction project that cannot be built all at once due to funding limitations and impacts during construction. The I-494 vision has been separated into nine elements that will likely be completed in a series of four construction projects.

I-494 between the Airport and Hwy 169 project implementation map
  • Element 1: A new westbound E-ZPass lane (from Hwy 100 to Hwy 169)
  • Element 2: A new eastbound E-ZPass lane (from Hwy 169 to Hwy 100)
  • Element 3: A new ramp at the I-35W/I-494 interchange and westbound E-ZPass lane (from I-35W to Hwy 100)
  • Element 4: A new eastbound E-ZPass lane (from Hwy 100 to I-35W)
  • Element 5: 82nd St. interchange and grade changes at I-35W
  • Element 6: New railroad bridge
  • Element 7: Changes to access and construction of new bridges at Nicollet Ave., Portland Ave., and 12th Ave., as well as a new pedestrian bridge across I-494.
  • Element 8: A new westbound E-ZPass lane (from Hwy 77 to I-35W)
  • Element 9: A new eastbound E-ZPass lane (from I-35W to Hwy 77)

Visit the online open house to learn more about the implementation plan for the I-494 vision.

As mentioned in the Implementation Plan page, the entire I-494 vision cannot be built all at once and is separated into a series of four construction projects. The first construction project is expected to start late summer 2023.

The first construction project includes the elements that ranked the highest under the scoring criteria of the Implementation Plan. The first construction project includes elements 3, 4, and 7.

I-494 between the Airport and Hwy 169 first construction project map

Visit the online open house to learn more about the first construction project and the elements included.