35W/Crosstown 62 Redesign
Beginning in August 2001, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will begin the separation and reconstruction of the Interstate 35W and State Highway 62 commons area. This construction will continue until 2005. The current commons area is one of the most dangerous traffic areas in the state as well as one of the most congested. The goal of this project is to improve safety and traffic flow in the area.
Throughout the project, there will be a wide variety of access closures on and off of 35W and 62 as well as closures of spans of some of the highways. The two closures that have received the most attention are:
35W will have no access between 46 th and 66 th Streets.
Portions of Highway 62 will be closed between Portland and Penn Avenues. during different periods of the project.
It is expected that Ward 13 will experience direct impacts of this project – both limited access to the roads being reconstructed and increased traffic in our Ward.
Since last fall, my office has been working with MnDOT, other Council wards, City staff, and MCTO to plan for the effects of this project. Some of the issues we are addressing include: access to the affected roads; increased traffic in the neighborhoods; effective communication to those traveling through the construction zone and in the neighborhoods; and better ways to help drivers travel to and from Minneapolis.
As the start of the project approaches, information will be posted at this site to assist Ward 13 residents and business owners. We will also provide information through neighborhood newsletters and the media to keep you informed about the project.
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
As mentioned, we are working closely with MnDOT to address the needs and concerns of our residents. MnDOT has created a website about the project. Visit the MnDOT website to learn more about the I-35W Highway 62 Improvement Project.
You can also contact MnDOT with your questions by emailing them at email@example.com or calling the MnDOT Information Center at (651) 296-3000.
In the 2001 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislation voted to place a moratorium on this project until May 1, 2002. Between July 2001 and May 2002, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be studying ways to reduce the length of the expected road closures. The current design is expected to remain intact.
Over the next year, we will monitor MnDOT's progress on this project and work with them as appropriate to mitigate the effects of the project on Ward 13 and the City as a whole.
Since last summer, MnDOT has worked with a consultant to consider the redesign of the 35W/Crosstown Commons. Also, a task force was formed of representatives from the affected communities including state legislators, county commissioners, Metropolitan Council commissioners, and a representative of the Minneapolis Mayor’s office.
In November, MnDOT and the consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, presented a revised plan to Wards 13 and 11 as well as the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. That plan does include additional lanes on Highway 62. The revised plan will be presented to the Legislature this month.
The tentative construction date for the revised plan would be 2005. However, many factors could influence that date. At this time, MnDOT continues to refine the plan, confirm cost, and speak with the Federal government on environmental requirements related to the revision.
MnDOt and SRF – MnDOT’s consultant on this project - are moving ahead with the design process for the Crosstown/35W construction. On November 6, they presented the latest plans to the policy advisory committee – a group of policy makers who have been appointed by Lt. Governor Carol Molnau to review the project. Council Members Benson (Ward 11) and Lilligren (Ward 8), State Rep. Paul Thissen, and County Commissioner Gail Dorfman are among the 14 members.
MnDOT expects to begin the process of requesting municipal consent for the design early next year. In addition, next year, public meetings will be held for residents to learn more about this project. As these meetings are scheduled, they will be posted in the Meetings and Events section of this website. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2005 and last about four years.
Over the summer, SRF mailed a newsletter to residents who live near this project to update them on its progress.
Over the winter, MnDOT made a number of presentations to neighborhoods and held two open houses for the entire community. These events were an opportunity for residents to review the current plans and ask questions.
In the 13th Ward, MnDOT spoke at a joint Kenny/Windom neighborhood meeting on January 13 and at the Armatage Neighborhood Association annual meeting on March 16. In addition, several hundred residents from throughout South and Southwest Minneapolis attended an open house on January 22. A second open house to present some revisions to the design was held on March 10.
The proposed revisions to the plan will be posted to the MnDOT website in mid-April.
As more information about this project becomes available, we will update this page.
On September 3, the Minneapolis City Council denied its consent for the 35W/Crosstown project. The municipal consent process gives cities affected by a state transportation project the right to approve, deny or deny with conditions these projects.
The City denied with conditions, based on concerns that the plan did not address long-term transit needs, in particular Bus Rapid Transit.
Over the next few months, the City and State will work together through an appeal process outlined in state law.
City and State staff will present sound mitigation and aesthetic plans for the stretch of the re-constructed highway that abuts these two neighborhoods.
The meeting will be:
Monday, December 6, 2004
Lynnhurst Community Center
50th and Minnehaha Parkway
About 50 residents attended the December meeting. They learned about MnDOT’s construction plans and timelines, landscaping plans, and had a chance to go through a computer simulation that helped them understand the new driving experience along the reconstruction roadway.
In March 2005, an appeal body issued its decision on the City’s vote to deny municipal consent with conditions. The body consisted of one member appointed by MnDOT, one by the City, and one by the State Supreme Court.
Among its many findings, the board determined that plans for bus rapid transit ought to be part of the State’s transportation planning for 35W and a bus station ought to be built at 46th Street to accommodate bus rapid transit.
During the appeal, planning for the new roadway continued. As new information becomes available it will be posted here.
Update – Summer 2007
Construction on 35W/Crosstown is underway. Stage One of the project will last from June, 2007 through June of 2008. The work will include:
- Replacement of the Diamond Lake Road Bridge and 58th Street Pedestrian Bridge. The bridges were removed in June.
- Diamond Lake Road drainage work – currently underway.
- Temporary widening on northbound I-35W and retaining wall work will start in the Commons Area.
- Retaining walls on the east side of Lake Mead will be constructed.
- Work will begin on the retaining walls, noisewalls and the frontage roads on both the east and west sides of I-35W. Noisewalls will be replaced as soon as it is feasible. Many of the noisewalls will be affected by retaining wall construction. Where this occurs, the retaining wall construction will dictate the length of time an area is without a noisewall.
Last updated May. 7, 2012