Updated: November 05, 2021 07:08 PM
Created: November 05, 2021 06:09 PM
Drivers in the northwest metro are celebrating the completion of a major construction project on Interstate 94 between Maple Grove and Rogers, which includes a new interchange in Dayton.
Until now, there was a six-mile gap between on-ramps.
"It's just been a hassle, taking a long way around just to get on 94," said Ryan Mart, who lives in one of the new developments in Maple Grove.
Mart works in the restoration business and spends a significant amount of time driving to various job sites. He's looking forward to having easier access to the freeway.
"We have watched the whole project. This is much needed and is going to be huge for our community," Mart said.
Transportation officials said planning for the new interchange started 13 years ago. Construction began in April 2020.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation estimates 15,000 vehicles will use the Dayton Parkway Interchange every day. The I-94 project also features nine miles of new pavement on the freeway and a new lane in each direction between Highway 610 in Maple Grove and Highway 101 in Rogers, for a total of four lanes each way.
"This is the highest traffic freight corridor in the state and this will be a game-changer," said State Rep. Kristin Robbins.
MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher added, "This is really such an improved stretch of road for those freight haulers, those leisure travelers, folks that might be traveling Chicago to Canada."
Officials said the improved infrastructure in the northwest metro is also expected to help bring new business, manufacturing and retail to an area booming with new housing developments.
"Economic growth is totally tied to transportation," said Steve Bot, chairman of the I-94 West Corridor Coalition.
Mart estimates the new interchange will save 20 minutes in his daily commute.
When asked what he will do with the extra time, Mart responded, "Make sure that I get home for dinner! That's really what it comes down to is shaving off that extra time. With three kids, they want dad home and I want to be home."
The new interchange is expected to open Friday night. The new lanes on I-94 are expected to be completed next week.
For more details on the project, click here.
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