MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Summer road construction season is ramping up with yet another ramp closure.
This time it affects drivers in the west metro trying to make their way east.
The ramp from eastbound 394 to eastbound 94 closed Sunday night and will remain closed for the next two weeks.
The detour suggested by MnDOT takes drivers south on 100, east on Highway 62 and north on 35W.
MnDOT says the first morning commute went well Monday. It appeared drivers planned ahead and took other routes.
Drivers we talked with say this latest ramp closure here at 394 onto 94 east did come with plenty of warning, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, especially when you consider all of the other summer road construction underway.
Drivers headed east on 394 who’d normally exit at 94 east are now encountering signs that say they can’t.
If you want to get to destinations in Minneapolis or St. Paul, you have to find another way until Aug. 28.
“People are doing a really good job of working through this. We appreciate that folks are being patient, and kind of getting through this work,” MnDOT spokesperson David Aeikens said.
MnDOT says about 23,000 drivers typically use the 394 ramp each day. We talked with a few of them at a Super America gas station in Golden Valley.
“Frustrating, you have to leave a lot earlier. But, I guess, what can we do about it?” Mandy Sherwood said.
Sherwood is a student at MCTC in downtown Minneapolis. She anticipates more traffic on her way to class because of the detours.
“My strategy is to set my clocks early and do my best to get to where I’m supposed to be on time,” Sherwood said.
Austin Williams says he noticed slower than usual traffic near the ramp closure Monday morning and he now plans to simply avoid 394 entirely.
“I’m just gonna stay in the outskirts. I’ve got a couple of appointments coming up in the next few weeks, I’m just gonna reschedule them,” Williams said.
Jennifer Souther told us she noticed congestion leading up to that ramp even before it closed Sunday night.
“We ended up detouring through downtown and going a back way, because I used to work downtown so I knew how to get around. Won’t do it again,” Souther said.
MnDOT’s official detour covers 15 miles, but there are other options.
You can certainly plan a route that is more convenient, depending on where you’re headed, just be sure you do it before you hit the road.
And keep in mind, the ramp will be closed for the first few four days of the State Fair.