Bloomington commuters will have another option to get across I-494 starting Friday when the Xerxes Avenue bridge reopens to traffic.

The bridge has been closed for the past 11 months as MnDOT rebuilt the bridge to meet current vertical clearance requirements and add other improvments.

The bridge will reopen at 3:30 p.m., officials said.

Pedestrians and bicyclists will have an easier time crossing, too, as wider sidewalks were put in. The bridge will also have an additional turn lane designed to improve safety and traffic flow.

On an aesthetic front, new ornamental railings also were installed as part of the $30 million project which also includes adding a westbound auxiliary lane between Nicollet Ave and Portland Ave and between I-35W and Hwy 100.

Motorists will continue to see construction in the area for the next few weeks. Crews will continue with resurfacing, replacing guard rails with a concrete median and other improvements along 494.

The original bridge was built in the 1960s.


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