Two I-35W ramps to close for several months

Minneapolis motorists, start your detours.

Work on the Central Corridor light-rail project will require two Interstate 35W ramps to close for several months, and traffic delays are likely.

Starting Wednesday, the Fourth Street ramp to southbound I-35W will be shut down until this July. Drivers should instead take the entrance ramp from eastbound Washington Avenue to southbound I-35W.

And on April 4, the ramp from northbound I-35W to the University of Minnesota East Bank will close until the end of November 2012. To get to the East Bank, drivers can take the Fourth Street SE/University Avenue SE exit from I-35W.

Crews are preparing to build a bridge over the interstate to join Central Corridor and Hiawatha light-rail tracks, according to the Metropolitan Council.

Next week, crews will be strengthening the Washington Avenue bridge so it will be able to handle the new Central Corridor trains. That will close West River Parkway and the adjacent bike trail from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 5 and 6.

Visit the Central Corridor project page for more updates.

And finally, the Met Council is supposed to receive word any day now about a finalized full-funding grant agreement that would obligate the federal government to pay for half of the nearly $1 billion project. Stay tuned.

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