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I-35 Mega Project — Final Complaints

Since the I-35 reconstruction is wrapping up and the freeway will be getting back to normal soon, it’s probably a good time to get rid of any lingering road rage.

So … wow … did the past two years suck or what?

26 Comment(s)

  1. My only complaint was that they took out the sound reducer from the East end near the 21st Ave E exit for the rollerbladers. It was so quiet, but to remove them for one thing is kind annoying.

    Having the constant traffic jam after the Lake Ave. exit will be such a relief.

    Endion | Oct 19, 2011 | New Comment
  2. I’m glad the curve between Grand and Central in the northbound lanes got widened and moved to the right. I couldn’t see over the barrier walls in my low-sitting car. Every morning I worried about hitting some numbnuts around that blind curve that stopped IN the driving lane to let in the mergers on the Central ramp.

    Chad | Oct 19, 2011 | New Comment
  3. You mean…it’s done? It’s over (soon)? I’m new in town and thought that the construction was going to continue for a while. Like, through the winter and into next spring.

    You have no idea how happy this makes me.

    Elly Vortex | Oct 19, 2011 | New Comment
  4. Having nice, new freeways will be awesome once it’s all opened up!

    Bad Cat! | Oct 19, 2011 | New Comment
  5. Elly, I’m not sure when the project is supposed to be totally done, but traffic is expected to return to normal flow before Halloween.

    Some of the exit ramps that had been closed are already open.

    Paul Lundgren | Oct 19, 2011 | New Comment
  6. They say with the materials they used it’s supposed to last for 40 years!!! And by then we’ll definitely all be driving flying cars anyway.

    George Jetson | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  7. Oh, it’s not over. Notice they’re moving the concrete barriers to the center until next year when they will finish this project. It’s only opening for the Winter folks.

    Metalist | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  8. I’ve heard they are done this year. I’m not an official source, but according to media reports it was originally slated as a 3-year project…but then they finished enough in 2010 that they were to finish it this year, even with the state shutdown setting them back a few weeks.

    George Jetson | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  9. Sorry to complain but why do other cities(e.g., Rochester, Mpls/St. Paul) get attractive bridge railings, concrete “stonework effect” and sound barriers? Will there be sound barriers between the freeway and the residential areas near Grand and also near 21st East?

    Iron Oregon | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  10. Cravaack.

    I sure miss Jim Oberstar

    Ethan | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  11. I switched to riding my bike and taking the bus so the whole mega project barely affected me. Glad they have gotten the needed work done.

    Chippy | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  12. My question is: With the traffic reduced to one lane at reduced speeds and bumper to bumper almost all the times during the day -- how many traffic accidents were there in the past 2 years? Normally, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a big wreck restricting traffic on I-35 about once a month. This year, I don’t remember any.

    I’m really excited at the prospect of being able to take I-35 to/from work again. The drive through West Duluth wasn’t all bad in the mornings; but people seemed to get pretty aggressive around the 46th & Grand Ave intersection.

    Rae | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  13. Frankly, I’m amazed that they are going to be finishing up on time with the state shut down this past summer. Is there confirmation of this?

    ironic1 | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  14. My biggest gripe was that I was late for work so many times, despite leaving earlier and earlier every time, because people would slow down below the posted 45 mph speed limit, usually because there were workers working the next lane over. The speed limit was posted as 45 for the safety of the workers, and they obviously weren’t going to work directly next to traffic… it was unnecessary to slow to a crawl for a mile at most and then return to normal speed. I can’t wait until I can get to work on time consistently.

    Erin | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  15. I am thrilled that when I visit the West area the 4oth avenue on-ramp is smooth!!! Great job -- no complaints from me!

    heysme | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  16. My only complaint is an ideological one. I don’t understand how there seems to be limitless funding for these massive highways propped up 100 feet above the ground, but there is hardly any support for more human-scale improvements like sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, and transit, which cost considerably less.

    Codie | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  17. Federal vs. State/County/City funding.

    Bad Cat! | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  18. As mentioned previously, the biggest problem were other drivers who couldn’t or wouldn’t maintain the speed limit and others who would stop completely to let someone on from Central Avenue. The other issue is the inability of drivers around here to properly zipper at merges; instead they slam on their brakes and try to merge 1/2 mile before they need to. Outside of those driver caused issues, I think the project has been excellently managed.

    waferdog | Oct 20, 2011 | New Comment
  19. Iron:
    I live near the 21st Ave E exit and the walls are perfect for sound, and if they were higher it would ruin the view. When those wall were built (MNDOT) they took into account the homes there, but when the city built the overflow tanks they planted a bunch of trees that will grow and block the view eventually (dumb).

    The only thing that made me mad was that they removed the sound proofing on the road for the rollerblading race once a year.

    Endion | Oct 21, 2011 | New Comment
  20. The road construction will be complete this month. There will be additional work next year, but it’ll be finishing touches.

    We’ve put up with a lot of inconvenience over the past three years (I’ll take part of that blame for all of the city projects), but the end is in sight. What a relief!

    Don Ness | Oct 21, 2011 | New Comment
  21. My biggest complaint is the idiots who entered a packed freeway to drive a few blocks. Once you get past the merge to one lane, there’s no reason that one lane shouldn’t flow freely. The one impediment of course is people entering. I can’t tell you how many morons I saw get on at the Bong Bridge/46th W entrance and then get off on Central. Really? You couldn’t drive those 10 blocks on Collalillo Dr.? It was amazing how you could sit in stop and go traffic way back on 21st W and the root cause was people getting on the freeway at 46th. When of course they could have entered on Central Ave. to three open lanes. Kudos to the construction workers and contractors for getting it done ahead of schedule and a big screw you to all the idiotic drivers whose moronic decisions made the construction zone harder to navigate.

    Chris | Oct 21, 2011 | New Comment
  22. George Jetson, where did you get the info that the road is supposed to last 40 years? That doesn’t fit the doctrine of planned obsolescence.

    -Berv | Oct 21, 2011 | New Comment
  23. Aww….so sad to see the construction ending. I’ll miss the fun times like I saw Thursday, when the woman behind me refused to let a guy merge in in front of her from 46th Avenue West, literally 100 yards before the freeway opens up to two lanes, then came to a complete stop so she could twist her body fully around and give a double-barreled bird flip to the guy for even having the gall to expect to merge into traffic on a one-lane freeway.

    Tom | Oct 22, 2011 | New Comment
  24. @Berv, all the local news reports I’ve seen have mentioned the 40 year deal. Here is a Fox 21 report that says between 40 and 60 years:

    I-35 Megaproject Enters Year Two, Backups Expected Heading South

    Jadiaz | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  25. We’ll see how it looks in a couple of years, I suppose.

    Now, I’ve been meaning to post about this but haven’t so I’ll mention it here. How about this Bong Bridge project that’s supposed to take a couple of years? Did anyone go to the public meeting about it? (I didn’t.) I bike or drive across the bridge daily, and often think how great of shape the concrete is in. After I heard it was to be “repaired” I looked at it more closely. I’m not a bridge engineer, but wow, I challenge you to walk, bike, or drive across the Bong Bridge and find anything that looks like it needs repair. Or if you don’t have time, this website has many good recent pictures of the bridge.

    Of course it’s hard to see the underside, and yeah the I-35 bridge tragedy, but I would like to see proof that this 2-year, $15million investment is needed.

    -Berv | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  26. Now can we get to work on the Mega Blanket Fort Project?

    zra | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment

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