Motorists have started to feel the impacts of the big bridge repair and pavement rehabilitation project on Interstate 94 between Brooklyn Center and downtown Minneapolis. The first round of lane and ramp closures went into place this week, and that's just the start.

Over the next six months, MnDOT will fix more than 50 bridges and repave nine miles of the freeway between Shingle Creek Parkway and Nicollet Avenue with the hope of extending the road's lifespan by 12 to 15 years.

Projects of this magnitude obviously disrupt traffic and raise questions, not only for drivers but transit users, too. To answer them, MnDOT is partnering with Minneapolis Urban League to hold an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the league's office, 2100 Plymouth Avenue N.

A few upcoming impacts include shifting traffic to one side of the Lowry Hill Tunnel for three months and sending trucks weighing more than 9,000 pounds on the Prohibited Vehicles route via Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues. The ramp from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94 will shut down for three months as will access from southbound Hwy. 252 to eastbound (southbound) I-94.  Specific dates for the closures have not been nailed down, but look for them to go into effect sometime in May.

Additionally, the open house will feature information on internships and job opportunities at MnDOT.

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