MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Winter isn’t even our rear-view mirror yet, but the first closure on the Interstate 35W project is right around the corner.

The “Downtown to Crosstown” construction project is right on schedule, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. So, how far along are we? And when will it be finished?

The project started back in August of 2017. MnDOT says the four-year project is 70-percent finished. And so far, it’s on budget.

But we’re not done yet. The project’s first road closure of the year is coming up on Friday night.

Northbound I-35 W between Highway 62 and I-94 will be closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Saturday for crews to move in large construction equipment.

Next week, some lanes of 35W will close near the Fifth Street Bridge for a railing installation from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24 through Friday, Feb. 27.

“When this is done, it’s going to really be a 21st-century freeway with transit as a key component, and that’s really a priority for our organization,” Minneapolis Downtown Council CEO Steve Kramer said.

He says the project will be critical to serve some of the 150,000 total rides that take place in and out of downtown each weekday, and easy access to the city will boost its accessibility and economy.

“If people can be patient and recognize we’re making good progress, I think in the end its going to serve downtown very well,” Kramer said.

The project is set to finish in October of 2021. Click here to check out the project website, and click here for project and traffic updates. All closures are weather permitting and subject to change.

Erin Hassanzadeh