New I-35W entrance ramp in downtown Minneapolis opening

Downtown Minneapolis motorists will have another way to access northbound Interstate 35W when the newly constructed Fourth Street South entrance ramp opens to traffic. Weather permitting, the ramp will open Saturday, Nov. 22. 

The new ramp will allow traffic traveling eastbound on Fourth Street South to access northbound I-35W. Having the additional ramp will:

·         Improve access to northbound I-35W.

·         Relieve congestion on Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, which is currently the only other access to northbound I-35W from the downtown area.

·         Reduce the traffic that diverts through northeast Minneapolis to access northbound I-35W.

Congestion through northeast Minneapolis also will improve with fewer downtown drivers venturing east across the Mississippi River to access northbound I-35W.

In addition to the new ramp, the project will add a new auxiliary lane on northbound I-35W between University Avenue Southeast and the Johnson Street exit, which will help improve traffic flow on northbound I-35W through northeast Minneapolis.

The ramp and auxiliary lane are the focal points of a larger project on I-35W in Minneapolis that also includes:

The entire project aims to increase the reliability and efficiency or Minnesota’s transportation system. Motorists will experience shorter travel times and cost savings through reduced fuel use.

I-35W construction work began in late May. Along with the opening of the onramp, crews will finish the majority of the project by the end of this month.

Northbound I-35W will remain open to three lanes between Fourth Street Southeast and the Hennepin Avenue exit through the winter. Northbound I-35W between Hennepin Avenue and the Johnson Street exit will be open to three lanes and the additional auxiliary lane by early December.

Work will resume in spring 2015 when temperatures are warmer to finish concrete paving and construction of the median barrier between Fourth Street Southeast and Eighth Street Southeast. Northbound I-35W will then open to its final traffic configuration of three through lanes and the new auxiliary lane.

The project is a collaborative effort of Hennepin County, the city of Minneapolis and MnDOT. Shafer Contracting Co. is the prime contractor.

For more information or to sign up for email project updates, visit  



Published Nov 21, 2014



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