Extra hour recommended for traveling to MSP starting next month
Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Motorists traveling to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will need to give themselves extra time to arrive as the Minnesota Department of Transportation reconstructs Highway 5 near the airport beginning in April through October, weather permitting, according to a press release.
“We want people to make it to the gate in plenty of time, so plan ahead and leave one hour earlier,” said Mike Barnes, MnDOT metro district engineer. “We’re doing all we can to limit the disruption to motorists; this would typically be a two-year project but we’re committed to completing it in one construction season.”
Construction work includes rebuilding Highway 5, and repairing several bridges and ramps between 34th Avenue in Bloomington and Highway 62 near Fort Snelling.
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Work will start with the closure of eastbound Highway 5 in April through late-July. Crews will then close westbound Highway 5 from August through October. Ramps near the Highway 5, Highway 55 and Highway 62 interchange will close in July. The project is scheduled to begin after spring break and be completed before MEA weekend in October.
MnDOT needs to fully close each direction of Highway 5, one direction at a time, to complete the work in one construction season and best manage the difficult geography of the area.
“We’ve been working closely and planning with MnDOT and airport stakeholders for many months now in anticipation of this project,” said Roy Fuhrmann, chief operations officer for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “While the construction will cause some short-term pain for travelers, we look forward to future improvements and long-term benefits.”
To provide a full range of information and resources, MnDOT has launched AroundtheAirport.com. The new website aims to help travelers anticipate detours, plan their routes during the closures, and learn more about schedules and travel alternatives.
The link to AroundtheAirport.com will be made available to Delta customers using Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when they check in for a flight online, so they can review the current closures, plan their schedule and give themselves an extra hour on the road.
The Metro Blue Line, which serves both airport terminals, will not be affected during construction. Most Route 54 trips will detour away from Highway 5 during construction; Route 54 customers traveling to the airport will need to transfer to the Blue Line at the American Boulevard Station in Bloomington.
Customers seeking trip planning assistance should visit metrotransit.org or call 612-373-3333.
“Transit can be a bright spot during construction,” said Adam Harrington, Metro Transit director of service development. “This project provides travelers and airport workers the opportunity to discover what many already know — that transit is the best way to get to and from the airport.”
Some motorists might need to be aware of additional nearby construction. Portions of the I-494/35E interchange will be closed starting in April through October. Eastbound I-494 between South St. Paul and Mendota Heights will close for up to six weekends while crews resurface the freeway. More information is at mndot.org/metro/projects/i494invergroveheights/
To learn more about the project or to sign up for email updates, visit www.AroundtheAirport.com.