I-94 Construction Starts This Summer, Will Last Three Years
A major road construction project is coming to the northwest suburbs. This summer MnDOT begins a three-year project on I-94 from Maple Grove to Clearwater.
When finished there will be extra travel lanes, resurfaced pavement and rebuilt bridges. The makeover tab is $350 million. All of this is good news for St. Michael’s Curt Zachman.
“I travel it several times a week,” Zachman said.
Zachman knows all about I-94 gridlock between the northwest suburbs and downtown Minneapolis, and the long delays caused by the 100,000 vehicles that use the road every day.
“It definitely adds time,” Zachman said. “That’s why I try to avoid it as much as I can and I try to schedule around it, so I don’t have to sit in it.”
Maple Grove to Get Extra Lane
MnDOT’s 39-mile project is going to affect many cities along the I-94 corridor, including Maple Grove and St. Michael. Maple Grove Transit officials will be paying close attention to the project.
“If we need to make some changes to our bus routes we certainly will,” said Mike Opatz from Maple Grove Transit. “It’s going to be a bear for awhile, but hopefully it’s a lot smoother sailing, including for the buses.”
MnDOT plans to add a fourth lane on I-94 between Highway 610 in Maple Grove and Highway 101 in Rogers.
“The additional lane is going to help a lot,” Opatz said.
The St. Michael to Albertville chunk, meanwhile, is getting a third lane.
Pain Before Gain
At Steve’s Auto World in Maple Grove, Nathan Anderson says his business should benefit from interstate improvements.
“For the most part it will be great because more people are going to be able to come through here,” said Anderson, co-owner of Steve’s Auto World.
However, Anderson also realizes there will be pain before gain.
“I think in the end the pay off is it’s going to be better,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a lot less accidents, a lot better traffic flow. It’s going to be great for everybody.”
The project also includes a new interchange to be built at Brockton Lane and I-94. Residents in Maple Grove can learn more about the project, including a proposed noise reduction wall at an upcoming open house. It takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Maple Grove Community Center.