Signs posted this week in the vicinity of Hwy. 10 and County Road 96 in Arden Hills told motorists that the intersection was already closed. But the wide open road and a lack of activity at the construction site had some drivers wondering if that were really true.

As of this afternoon, the intersection is officially off limits to drivers and crews have begun work on building a new interchange.

Work started Wednesday on the project, which will include building an overpass to carry Hwy. 10 traffic over County Road 96. It also will include resurfacing the segment of Hwy. 10 between County Road 96 and I-694.

The ramp from southbound I-35W to eastbound Hwy. 10 will be closed, but the bridge will remain open for motorists on eastbound Hwy. 10 to County Road H to allow access to businesses and residential areas, said Kent Barnard, a MnDOT spokesman.

As part of the project, a temporary access road off of County 96 will be built west of the interchange to connect with a frontage road that runs parallel to Hwy. 10.

Weather likely played a role in confusing motorists as to when exactly the "Road Closed" signs would take effect. The project was to have started last week, but snow and cold led to two postponments. 

Crews began turning the dirt and removing concrete today. For a map of the project area and the official detours are listed on MnDOT's Highway 10 Construction web page.

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