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Excitement Builds As I-35W Downtown To Crosstown Project Wraps Up This Weekend

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- By the end of the week, the four-year-long Interstate 35W downtown to crosstown construction project will finally be finished -- but not before one last set of partial closures.

Tuesday and Thursday nights, northbound 35W is closed between Highway 62 and Interstate 94 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday night, the southbound lanes are closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

WCCO spoke Tuesday with Dave Aeikens, public affairs coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

"Sometime Friday we plan to have all lanes and all ramps open," Aeikens said. "It's been quite a journey."

And Jim Novak and the crew at Electric Fetus have had a front row seat.

"We get calls of, 'How do I get to your store again? I'm coming from over here and can I even get there?' So yes, it'll be nice to know that it's finally done and people will be able to get here again," Novak said.

Customers like Megan Lenius of Anoka are happy, too.

"It's always been a pain in the butt to get here the last couple years," Lenius said. "There was definitely a handful of times where I brought people here from out of town and I had the really stressful drive trying to merge onto the highway."

I-35W Downtown to Crosstown Construction Project
(credit: CBS)

The project will also make it easier to directly access Lake Street.

"We built a ramp from southbound 35 south to Lake Street, so now drivers going south on 35W can access the many, many businesses there," Aeikens said.

The orange line bus rapid transit station on Lake Street won't be open until the line launches late this year. But from the new E-ZPass lane, to the accessible bridges and smooth roadways, you can say so long to those extra minutes in the car, and hello to the new 35W.

"Mostly what we've done is taken two-and-a-half miles and rebuilt it," Aeikens said.

There's a street fair on East Lake street this weekend to celebrate the end of the project. There will be food, music and tours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday between Stevens and South 2nd avenues.

Here are the final partial closures for the project:

  • NB I-35W is closed between Hwy. 62 and I-94 from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7 through 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8. Detour: Hwy. 62, Hwy. 100, I-394.
  • SB I-35W is closed between I-94 and Hwy. 62 from 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8 through 5 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 9. Detour: I-394, Hwy. 100, Hwy. 62.
  • NB I-35W is closed between Hwy. 62 and I-94 from 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9 through 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10. Detour: Hwy. 62, Hwy. 100, I-394.

Click here for more details on the project.

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