Motorists woke up to a big change in the Crosstown project Wednesday morning when traffic is routed to permanent lanes on north Interstate 35W through its common section with Crosstown Hwy. 62.

The switch will give the new freeway interchange in south Minneapolis and Richfield a permanent look and will be very noticeable to drivers, said Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Walker.

Work on ramps and connections with surface streets will continue. Also the inner lanes on both north and south I-35W will remain closed as work continues on the mid-freeway bus ramp at 46th Street.

The massive construction project, begun four years ago, is scheduled to be completed in December.

To prepare for the switch to the new lanes, which was weather permitting, northbound I-35W closed overnight Tuesday through Richfield.

When finished, the traffic switch to the new lanes will continue to require eastbound Hwy. 62 motorists heading north on I-35W to make a left exit before entering the common section with I-35W.