A squeeze began Wednesday night on the already-cozy Lowry Hill Tunnel, as work got underway on an extensive construction project targeting Interstate 94 in Minneapolis and the north metro.

The eastbound side of the tunnel will be reduced from three lanes to two starting at 8 p.m. nightly and then to one lane at 10 p.m., the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said.

The plan is to have the tunnel back at full capacity by 6 a.m. each day.

While crews are in the tunnel, the ramp from eastbound Interstate 394 to eastbound I-94 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This work, which will take up to three weeks, sets the stage for traffic going both ways in the eastbound tunnel in mid to late May so crews can make repairs on the westbound side.

The tunnel upgrade is part of a $46.3 million maintenance and preservation project involving 50 bridges, resurfacing of the interstate and ramps and other safety improvements.

Two lanes of eastbound I-94 in Brooklyn Center have been closed from where I-94 splits from I-694 near Shingle Creek Parkway, to fix the bridge over Shingle Creek.

Traffic capacity on I-94 will be reduced into the fall. For updates on the closures, go to www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94brooklyncntr. MnDOT’s 511 website provides real-time updates.