Mar 31, 2018
Written by: Tom Klaers, Clean Response
This article was written in March 2018 for the 2018 B'Onion Edition Newsletter.
New revisions to the I35W construction plans were announced on April 1, 2018, with extensive changes to the original plan. Based on the findings from ongoing studies regarding the extent of the construction, traffic flows, accident reduction initiatives, bicycle and pedestrian travel trends, and the expected population growth, the project will change has follows:
- I35W North and South between Crosstown Highway 62 and downtown Minneapolis will be open on the weekends
during construction and will be closed on all weekdays between May 1 and October 31, 2018.
- In 2019, the project will extend South from the Crosstown to County Road 70 in Lakeville and the same weekday road closures will begin April 1, 2019.
- The planned Lake Street Transit Station will now become an exit ramp food court featuring a Big Boy, State Fair Leftovers, Chi Chi's, Crabby Coffee Shop, Randy's Donuts, No Soup for You Kitchen and Greasy Gracie's Burgers.
- The planned addition of a dedicated MNPASS lane will now become a dedicated express bicycle lane.
- Two lanes in each direction will be eliminated and replaced by pedestrian paths divided by walkers, walkers with strollers, walkers with dogs, joggers, joggers with strollers, joggers with dogs, runners, fast runners and marathon runners.
- The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be paved with a new material made from recycled plastic bags.
- An additional vehicle lane in each direction will be eliminated and replaced with "Green Space Lanes" which will include dog parks, flower and butterfly gardens and beekeeping farms.
- A series of stop signs and roundabouts will be added to reduce the speed of vehicles and improve safety.
- Not only will I35W be reduced to one vehicle lane in each direction from downtown Minneapolis to Lakeville (and eventually all the way to the Iowa border), but the project is now expected to be completed by the fall of 2050.
For many years to come, Minnesotan's can look forward to walking and riding bikes to work on the most beautiful stretches of highway in America!