The Minnesota Department of Transportation budgeted $57 million to carry out its ambitious pavement rehabilitation and bridge repair project slated for this spring and summer along Interstate 94 between Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and the Hwy. 252 interchange in Brooklyn Center.

MnDOT will only spend $46.3 million.

St. Michael-based PCI Roads put in the lone bid and was awarded the project Friday, said MnDOT spokesman David Aeikens.

"It's less than we anticipated," he said. "It's another step in the process. The contractor needs to come up with a calendar and a schedule, then we will know when things are happening."

MnDOT still needs to evaluated the bid to be sure it meets project specifications and none of the work was left out. Once approved, here is a summary of what the project entails:

  • Resurfacing about nine miles of pavement on I-94 between Nicollet Avenue and Shingle Creek Parkway in Brooklyn Center.
  • Repairing 50 bridges on or over I-94 along the 9-mile segment
  • Reconstructing westbound I-94 bridge deck over Hwy. 252 in Brooklyn Center
  • Repairing tile in the Lowry Hill and Portland Avenue tunnels
  • Replacing guardrail
  • Improving drainage and concrete barrier in areas.

Projects this big often bring changes,and one announced Friday is that the speed limit through the Lowry Hill Tunnel will be 40 miles per hour when traffic is sharing one side of the tube. The agency had said the speed limit would be reduced to 30 miles per hour for when traffic is shifted first to the westbound lanes between Hwy. 55 and 3rd Avenue, then the eastbound lanes. Look for that traffic shift sometime in May.

If all goes as planned, PCI Roads will begin substructure work on bridges in March and get busy on the pavement portion of the project in April, weather permitting.

MnDOT has been meeting with groups informally for months, 40 meetings in all, to inform employers and residents about the project. It has an official public open house set from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Building, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis.

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