18 April 2022
Motorists may recall the lengthy traffic backups that developed last summer on Interstate 94 in downtown St. Paul as the Minnesota Department of Transportation carried out a road construction project.
Starting Monday, they could be back.
I-94 will be slimmed to two lanes in each direction between Marion Street and Mounds Boulevard and several ramps leading into and out of downtown St. Paul will be closed as the second year of a $27 million project resumes. The work will bring lane closures on I-35E between I-94 and University Avenue.
The biggest impacts will likely be felt through midsummer in the Capitol interchange, where I-94 and I-35E meet and the freeways run together. It is one of the busiest areas in the state and prone to congestion even without construction. And it’s where motorists heading to landmarks such as the Xcel Energy Center, Ordway Center, State Capitol, Harriet Island or Regions Hospital get on and off the freeway.
- Crews will begin setting cones and barriers Monday, and by Wednesday the following ramps and connections will be closed:
Westbound I-94 to Marion Street
- Southbound I-35E to westbound I-94; traffic will stay on I-35E until the commons area and then merge to westbound I-94
- Washington Street to westbound I-94 and southbound I-35E
- Westbound I-94 to 12th Street; motorists heading to Regions Hospital will be detoured to Dale Street
Work in the downtown area is expected to wrap up by mid-June, while work between I-35E and Mounds Boulevard will last until the fall, MnDOT said.
MnDOT will be resurfacing the freeway ramps and frontage roads along I-94, repairing drainage, upgrading storm sewers and doing bridge rehabilitation work as well as repairing sidewalks and upgrading pedestrian sidewalks to conform with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards.
In a closure that should be far less disruptive, the Lowry Hill Tunnel in Minneapolis will be shut down for repairs and washing during overnight hours this week. Westbound I-94 will be shut down between Hennepin Avenue and Hwy. 55 from 10 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday and from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Eastbound lanes will be closed between Hwy. 55 and La Salle Avenue during the same days and times.