By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Manuevering one of the Metro’s most traveled roads is going to require patience.

Major construction is underway on I-94. It’s going to have a big and long impact on commuters who live in the north metro and travel into Minneapolis, along with anyone who uses the Lowry Tunnel.

The project starts in the heart of Minneapolis near Nicollet and I-94. Traffic id only going to get worse, but officials say planning is key.

In Minnesota, orange is the color of spring — constructions signs start popping up before the flowers.

“In fact, I wish construction season was longer,” commuter Erik Green said. “We’d have a few less bumps in the roads.”

This year, it’s going to be a long one — the I-94 project is scheduled to take a year and a half.

“It will be a challenge,” David Aekins of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said. “Some of the bigger challenges are going to come later. We are going to reduce it down to two lanes for much of the spring, summer and fall. This is just a taste of it.”

MnDOT will be fixing dozens of bridges and patching pavement all the way up to Shingle Creek parkway where construction is already underway. The Lowry Tunnel is getting a makeover, too — both sides will be periodically shut down.

Erik Green, who lives in Brooklyn Park and works at the University of Minnesota, will be one of tens of thousands affected everyday by lane closures. MNDOT suggests you do what he did — research alternate routes.

“If they keep to their schedule, I think it will be worth it,” Green said.

Alternate routes will be key in coming months, MNDOT says stick to highways, try to avoid neighborhood cut throughs.

For more information, check out MnDOT’s project website. You can also subscribe to construction update emails.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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