Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown


Traffic impacts

Learn more about this project, including project staging, and how to move through the project area, including how to do the zipper merge.

What's new this week?

Details about new closures this week will be posted when available.

Bridges by location

Ramps by location

Some of the ramp closures listed below are multi-year closures. This is needed to allow motorists to safely travel through the project area during the reconstruction of I-35W. The number of lanes will be reduced and shifted at various times which makes ramp access to/from I-35W difficult for vehicles.

Access into downtown from NB I-35W is one northbound lane to allow for ongoing construction in the area. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes or use transit to travel in/out of downtown.

Routes into downtown

Access from NB I-35W to 5th Ave. S – OPEN

Routes into downtown

From Downtown: 12th St. to SB I-35W – CLOSED

Routes into downtown

Closed May 18, 2018 through fall 2021
  • Detour: WB I-694, WB Hwy 62, NB Hwy 100, EB I-394 (PDF)
  • This ramp is being fully reconstructed. Once complete, motorists will no longer merge on the right side of WB I-94; instead, motorists will merge on the left side and will have a dedicated lane through the Lowry Tunnel, helping to reduce congestion. The Lyndale Ave./Hennepin Ave. exit will still be accessible from WB I-94.
  • Prior to the reconstruction of the ramp, there are additional construction activities in the I-35W/I-94 junction that need to happen and have been in full swing since mid-June 2018. Highway lanes will be reduced and shifted at various times and construction of the new ramp piers would not allow traffic to be safely switched around.

5th Ave. ramp to NB I-35W – CLOSED

NB I-35W to 31st St. ramp – CLOSED
31st St. to SB I-35W ramp – CLOSED

SB I-35W to 35th St. ramp – CLOSED
35th St. to NB I-35W ramp – CLOSED

36th St. to SB I-35W ramp – CLOSED
  • Closed March 2, 2018 through fall 2021
    • Detour: Portland Ave. to 46th St. (PDF)
    • The number of southbound lanes will be reduced and shifted at various times while crews work for the three years after the 38th St. bridge reopens. This will make it difficult for vehicles entering from 36th St. to safely merge onto SB I-35W.

SB I-35W to 46th St. ramp
  • Watch for periodic short-term closures through fall 2020

Highway work by location

NB I-35W is reduced to three lanes through fall 2021
  • MnPASS Express Lanes remain open

SB I-35W is reduced to three lanes through fall 2021

Local road work by location

SB Second Ave. between 40th St. and 42nd St. – CLOSED
  • Closed Mon, Aug. 19, 2019 through February 2020

*This closure is part of the I-35W drainage improvement project.

Lake St. between Nicollet Ave. and 2nd Ave. – LANE REDUCTIONS
  • Mon, Aug. 26 through Spring 2020

31st St. has reduced lanes between Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave.
  • Reduced lanes through fall 2021

Stevens Ave. between the Midtown Greenway and Lake St. – CLOSED
  • Closed Oct. 22, 2018 through spring 2020
Stevens Ave. between Lake St. and 35th St. – LANE REDUCTIONS
  • December 2019 through February 2020

Trail and sidewalk impacts

Sidewalks are closed on the following roads:
  • South side of Lake St. between Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave. S
  • North side of 31st St. between Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave. S

About this project

35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown full project map
35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown stage 4 map.
Click map for larger version.

Summary of work

Work on 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown will include:

  • Converting NB I-35W Priced Dynamic Shoulder Lane between 46th St. and 26th St. to a permanent MnPASS Lane
  • Constructing a new MnPASS lane on SB I-35W from 26th St. to 46th St.
  • Constructing Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Station at Lake St.
  • Improving access from I-35W to the Lake Street Business District by constructing two new exit ramps (NB I-35W to 28th St. and SB I-35W to Lake St.
  • Upgrading accessibility by improving pedestrian accommodations with pedestrian curb ramps and sidewalk upgrades.
  • Rehabilitating pavement and bridges on I-35W from 46th St. to 11th Ave., Hwy 65 from 26th St. to 15th St., and I-94 from Nicollet Ave. to Park Ave.
  • Constructing new and rehabilitating existing noise barriers throughout the project limits.

Project schedule and staging

The 35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown project will be done in five stages. Learn more about the stages and anticipated schedule.

Do the Zipper Merge

Zipper Merge Logo.

Click for Zipper Merge Video.

When you encounter a construction zone where a lane will be closed, perform the zipper merge. A zipper merge occurs when motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in a "zipper" fashion into the open lane.