Maple Grove Seeks Funding to Improve I-94/494 Bottleneck
The city of Maple Grove hopes to see safety improvements for a renowned Twin Cities traffic bottleneck.
The city submitted an application for funding to improve the Fish Lake Interchange merger from northbound Interstate Highway 494 to westbound Interstate Highway 94.
The westbound merger goes from four lanes to three, which officials say contributes to congestion and crashes. A proposal submitted by the city to the state would add a westbound lane on the left-hand side of the interchange and extend it to just beyond the Weaver Lake Road exit. The application seeks $4.9 million in funding through the Corridors of Commerce program set up by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
“It’s been a very popular program,” said John Hagen, transportation operations engineer with Maple Grove.
Hagen said whether the city’s request gets approved will depend on the number of applications the state receives and how much funding is available. However, he says the city is cautiously optimistic.
“It’s a low-cost, high-benefit project,” said Hagen. “We’re hopeful.”
A freeway interchange study completed by MnDOT and the Metropolitan Council evaluated deficiencies for 56 interchanges. The study also identified options for future improvements.
Hagen said the city received a menu of options for improving the interchange and chose one that it felt would provide the most cost-effective solution.
The I-94 West Corridor Coalition, a group of businesses and governments, supported a different option. That option would add an auxiliary lane to the right of the interchange between Hemlock Lane and Weaver Lake Road. The auxiliary lane option request is for $8.5 million.
MnDOT will begin review of projects submitted in December. Funding awards will be announced in May 2023.