MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —You’re probably familiar with the traffic headaches on Interstate 494, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is hoping to fix it.

Their next big construction project, once Interstate 35W is finished, is to revamp I-494 between MSP Airport and Eden Prairie — a major Twin Cities artery that is almost always clogged.

“Going home in the mid-afternoon hours it’s jam-packed, it’s a nightmare,” said commuter Jimmy Hedensten.

Yet some of us can’t help it.

“I work in Bloomington, live in Eagan, so every day,” Hedensten said.

MnDOT hears you. The next project on their docket is to address issues on a nine-and-half-mile stretch of I-494.

“Add a lane or two on both sides, try to help free up the movement of traffic,” Hedensten said.

MnDOT is taking concerns directly from drivers as they plan what specifically they will make changes to.

“There’s probably going to be an additional lane built, and we’re looking at a new ramp from 35W north to 494 west,” said MnDOT’s Dave Aeikens.

He says that will be the only added ramp. This project will be more about eliminating entrance ramps from the interstate.

“Make Portland really the only access area among the three there, between Nicollet, 12th and Portland,” Aeikens said.

MnDOT wants to take advantage of that, and the added lane is expected to be an express lane for carpool or MnPASS users only.

If you want to see changes to this interstate, you have to speak up by going to 494openhouse.com. There you can enter your suggestions and take a survey. The project is set to start in 2023.

Marielle Mohs

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