Interstate I-35 (I-35) is one of the longest interstates in America and stretches from southern Texas. Laredo, to Duluth, MN. It is one of the key north/south transportation routes for those who live in the center of the U.S.. Many people who live in this area of the U.S., admonish I-35 in almost the same realm as the Mississippi River. We cannot recount the numerous times we have been up and down this interstate over our lifetimes. Believe it or not, the Greater MSP area is the only area along this 1,500+ mile stretch where it splits into two interstates. I-35E runs through the St. Paul CBD and I-35W runs through the Minneapolis CBD, before re-joining to the north of the Greater MSP area.
One of the most traveled areas of I-35W, is along the southern edge of the Minneapolis CBD where the interstate connects with the east/west routes of I-94. At 50+ years of age, I-35 needs a few "nips and tucks" to keep looking proud. this process has begun. Replacing the Franklin Ave. bridge is one of the first closings and it will reopen around the middle of 2018. The 38th Street bridge will close tomorrow, March 2, and then the level of activity will start to pick up. Bridge closures and replacements/repairs reaching south to the 40th Street pedestrian bridge, will continue throughout the project. Ramp closures will stretch from downtown Minneapolis to the 46th South Street ramp.
Over this summer, the west bound I-94 ramp will be closed and upgraded. This is long overdue in my opinion! I-35W between 43rd Street and downtown will have lane closures as north bound will be limited to three lanes and southbound will be limited to two lanes. This is expected to extend through the fall of 2021........are we ready? In the end there will be many needed improvements, including a new access off of Lake Street, which will be welcomed by those working and living in the Uptown area.
To add to the congestion, there will be two other significant projects impacting those coming from the north and south metro. The I-35 W resurfacing project involving repaving I-35 W from University Ave. to just south of County Road C in Roseville will occur from July 6th to October of this year. This will be unison with the I-35W MN River Bridge replacement between Burnsville and Bloomington. This project will run from July 2018 through November 2021 and will stretch from Cliff Road to the south and 106th Street to the north. When completed, the project will raise the bridge out of the flood plain and create a new trail for pedestrians from Cliff Rd. in Burnsville to Lyndale Ave. in Bloomington. For those who like to bike and enjoy the terrific new trail along the MN River valley, this will be a welcomed improvement.
For those coming from the north and south of the Minneapolis CBD, the next three and a half years are going to be major challenge. If you have to drive, Hwy. 100 or Hiawatha may be good alternatives to alleviate the reduced traffic lanes that will stay open through each of these projects. We do not envy MNDOT with this historic project but we are so glad we have the people at MNDOT to continue to improve our roads. It is difficult to even imagine the level of planning that goes into a project of this magnitude. Keeping our eyes on the goal will do us all good.....it sounds like similar advice needed to grow a young company in a mature marketplace! Through it all, remember IAG Commercial to help you with your space and real estate investment needs.