MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Construction is the big story to start the week as plenty of it around the metro will close some roads and make traffic tighter throughout the metro, some of it for the rest of the summer and into the fall.
Starting this week, get ready for slow going on one of the busiest stretches of highway in the north metro. Things are going to get messy on Interstate 694 this week as a major road project gets underway.
Monday is the first weekday where a lot of road construction projects are starting around the Twin Cities, and they’re sure to cause a bit of a headache for drivers as they involve a lot of lane closures. The biggest one i on I-694, where construction slated for Monday had to be delayed due to an equipment breakdown, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Officials said that project is now slated to start at 7 p.m. Monday. When it does start, both directions of I-694 will be restricted to a single lane between Highway 10 and East River Road in Brooklyn Center. Officials said the eastbound lanes will also be restricted to two lanes daily this week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and a single lane overnight between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Westbound lane closures will also be expanded between I-35W and Highway 100 through the end of the project in early November. Ramps between I-35W and Highway 100 will also be closed for up to 10 days at a time during this construction season, according to MnDOT officials.
The closures will mainly affect people commuting between Brooklyn Center and Arden Hills. Crews are closing sections of I-694 for concrete pavement repair, drainage improvements and bridge deck replacement.
Officials with MnDOT said that it may not be visible to drivers, but the concrete surface underneath their tires on that stretch of the road has a lot of deterioration.
Officials said it’s possible lane closures or the timing of the closures could change as they work on these projects. The projects on 694–all of them should be finished by November. Motorists are already voicing their displeasure at the looming delays due to construction.
“Oh man it’s going to be rough on the commute early in the morning. It’s hard to get to work,” said Walter Webb of Minneapolis.
“I’m going to see how it goes and depending on how long the delay is I’ll probably find an alternate route,” said Nicole McKee of Brooklyn Park.
“They’re always working on it and they never finish it. I’m just not happy about it because it’s my way to work and I have to take detours and all that,” said Carmen Soto of New Hope.
There’s another major headache for driving over on the east side of the Twin Cities. Motorists traveling in both directions of Highway 36 between Highway 61 and White Bear Avenue in Maplewood will encounter detours as a full closure of the corridor started at 6 a.m. Monday.
The 75-day closure is necessary while crews construct a diamond interchange to replace the signalized intersection at Highway 36 and English Street.