Major work complete at 36 and Lexington

The ramps from eastbound Highway 36 to Lexington Avenue in Roseville are now open. Major work on the $10 million Highway 36 bridge replacement project over Lexington is complete.

Work to get rid of the “Shoreview Slowdown” on Interstate 694 — a two-lane section of the interstate roughly between Lexington Avenue and Rice Street is halfway complete. A third lane on westbound I-694 is open until the start of construction season next year, when work will begin on adding a third lane to eastbound side of the highway.

New lane on 694 open, for now

The first snow of the year doesn’t usually coincide with easier travel conditions, though it did this time around on Highway 36 and Interstate 694.

On Nov. 18, the same day the metro saw an afternoon winter storm roll through, the Minnesota Department of Transportation declared “The end is here!” with regards to bridge work at Highway 36 and Lexington Avenue in Roseville.

That evening, the eastbound highway ramps at Lexington reopened, marking the end of significant work in the area, which began in mid-April to replace the aged Highway 36 bridge over Lexington with two new spans.

A MnDOT press release about the ramp openings stated that minor work in the area will continue through early December — for instance, the stop lights where the ramps meet Lexington have yet to be activated and four-way stop signs remain — though there will be no more road closures associated with the project.

The estimated $10 million worth of work to replace the Depression-era bridge, which was completed in 1938, included highway resurfacing and work on other nearby ramps.

Highway 36 motorists were diverted around the bridge-construction site throughout much of the summer on bypass lanes constructed for the project.


I-694 construction

Nov. 18 also marked a break in work to add a third lane to both eastbound and westbound I-694 through Shoreview and into Little Canada, roughly between Lexington Avenue and Rice Street

Work to alleviate that two-lane stretch — referred to as the “Shoreview Slowdown” by at least one former Shoreview City Council member — began this spring and will continue into the end of October of next year.

The break in the work will let drivers enjoy the fruits of road crews’ labors. All summer, westbound traffic was split by medians, allowing for the construction of a third lane, which will be open through the winter and until work recommences in the spring. 

Once work begins anew, crews will split eastbound traffic with medians, recreating the scheme westbound drivers became accustomed to this summer: the inside lane will be a through lane, while the outside lane will allow access to exits between Lexington and Rice. 

Westbound traffic will be reduced back to two lanes through the end of the work. The roughly $35 million I-694 project is a part of the Corridors of Commerce program.

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