Motorists on I-35E in Eagan will notice a traffic switch when they head to work on Wednesday.
The word from MnDOT is that crews will reconfigure the lanes overnight so that by morning traffic will no longer travel in a head-to-head fashion in a single lane on one side of the freeway as has been the case for the past couple of weeks.
Northbound traffic will be a single lane on the northbound side of the freeway while southbound traffic will stay on the southbound side. The crossovers will be closed.
That is the first step in opening all traffic lanes and returning the freeway to two lanes in each direction between Cedar Avenue and the I-35W/I-35E split.
From Wednesday to Friday, crews will be removing pylons and restriping the southbound lanes. They will be back to full capacity by Friday, said Kirsten Klein, a MnDOT spokeswoman.
Northbound lanes probably won't be back to full capacity until Tuesday because "they have a little bit more to do" to get those lanes ready. "They [drivers] will slowly get their traffic lanes back," she continued.
When the lanes do open, it likely will come as a relief for the thousands of motorists who have endured closurers and detours since May.
Along with the good news, there is some bad news for commuters who come from points further south. This week crews began building crossovers on I-35 between the Burnsville Split and the Elko/New Market exit which has resulted in periodic off-peak lane closures this week.
That is in preparation for construction that will begin around Aug. 26 on I-35 between the Split and Scott County Road 2. That stretch of the freeway will be reconfigured to single lane head-to-head traffic. Here are some specifics of that part of the project:
I-35 will be a single lane in each direction from County Road 50 to County Road 2.
North of County 50 to the Burnsville Split, the freeway will have two lanes open in each direction during most hours, but only one lane open on weekends. Motorists could also experience lane closures on weekends leading up to the project, Klein said.