MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Headaches start Monday morning for drivers who use Interstate 394 as part of their commute.
The three westbound lanes of I-394 have been closed and all westbound traffic has been shifted onto the eastbound HOV lanes between I-94 and Highway 100.
That means the 7,000 drivers who usually travel west on I-394 during rush hour will be squeezed into two lanes, rather than the normal three.
People heading east on I-394 won’t be able to use those HOV lanes to get downtown. This means an extra 2,000 drivers will be added to the eastbound traffic.
MnDOT said drivers should expect rush hour to be reaching into 10:30 a.m. or even 11 a.m, with the height of rush hour around 8 a.m. Backups could even go all the way back to I-494.
With such an impact to rush hour a lot of drivers are asking MnDOT why not just shut down on the weekends.
“This is not the typical mill and overlay or easy asphalt job. This project is already accelerated. When we were planning this project many, many years ago, we looked at just doing the weekends. If that were the case we’d have to close 394 every single weekend until April into the fall. Every single weekend,” MnDOT’s Bobbi Dahlke said.
MnDOT crews will spend the next four weeks resurfacing the more than two-mile stretch of road.
The westbound resurfacing will take two weeks and then the eastbound lanes will shut down for two weeks as well.
The resurfacing is expected to help make I-394 smoother and longer lasting.
For information on how to avoid construction by taking public transit, view Metro Transit routes online.