MINNEAPOLIS — The construction season has officially wrapped up for the year, and leaders at the Minnesota Department of Transportation said crews were able to advance or complete 227 projects across the state.
MnDOT said in addition to resurfacing roads and improving or replacing bridges, crews also installed safety infrastructure around the state including nearly 42 miles of center cable median barrier, and more than 30 J-turn intersections or roundabouts.
Among the highlights, crews completed a three-year project reconstructing 12.5 miles of southbound Highway 52 from Zumbrota to Cannon Falls. There is also a new interchange and several updated bridges in the area.
In central Minnesota, crews resurfaced a portion of Interstate 94 west of Alexandria and constructed roundabouts near the city's interchange.
In northern Minnesota in Silver Creek, crews improved the historic bridge to carry northbound traffic, built a second bridge for southbound traffic, and constructed new turn lanes among other things.
In the Twin Cities, work on the Third Avenue Bridge was completed to extend the life of the more than 100-year-old historic bridge in downtown Minneapolis.
Crews also made progress on one of the biggest projects in MnDOT's history on I-494 from Bloomington to Eden Prairie. The three-year project will add an EZ-Pass lane in each direction of I-494 as well as a new flyover ramp at the 35W/494 interchange. The plan also replaces and widens several bridges in the area.
MnDOT said the first year of the project was successful and remains on schedule. There was also a lot of prep work for next year, and crews completed some pavement work on 494 in the Bush Lake Road/Highway 100 area.
Crews also started work east of I-35W on the Chicago Avenue Bridge, and started on the flyover ramp. Work for that part of the project will continue through the winter, but drivers you won't necessarily have to worry about significant lane shifts unlike the summer months.
This winter, all of the ramps and lanes are open and crews also widened the shoulder earlier this year to make sure crews can work safely as drivers navigate what can be tricky driving conditions in the winter.
"In the summer, we have shifts, we have narrow shoulders and things like that," said Greg Ashe, MnDOT's project manager for the 494 project. "[In] winter, people have to contend with snow and ice and sometimes the traction is not as good and things like that, and we know that, and so that's a separate problem and so we try to not make it worse."
The 3.5-year, $377 million project is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2026.
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