2021 is construction season for Minnesota as the Minnesota Department of Transportation has planned over 200 construction projects for the entire State. It includes finishing the multi-year construction project in I-35W, Minneapolis, and starting the enormous road project in the port city of Duluth.

Having safe, efficient, and reliable transportation is crucial to Minnesota’s economic success and is essential to improving the quality of life of the citizens of the State. The government makes its commitment known by providing more innovative investments in transportation systems to serve the public better.

Here are some of the big road construction projects in Minnesota for 2021:

I-35 Construction, Burnsville and Minneapolis

The I-35 corridor is located between Burnsville and Minneapolis. The construction projects on this location are aimed to improve safety, improve mobility, and reduce congestion in the area.

Two main construction projects are occurring in the project area along I-35 and I-35W, one along the I-35 Minnesota River Bridge and the other at 35W@94. These two projects represent a considerable effort in making better transportation systems to support a stronger community and an ever-growing economy.

For this reason, motorists should take heed of possible travel delays, especially during rush hours. It is essential to avoid distractions by not using cellphones or avoiding eating or drinking while driving. Always follow posted speed limits to avoid paying up to $300 fines in specific work zones. Also, avoid changing lanes when you are within the work zones.

I-35W Minnesota River Bridge, Minnesota

About the Project

This multi-year project started in August 2018 and was completed in November 2021. The aim was to improve motorist and pedestrian access by rebuilding the Minnesota River Bridge, constructing a trail between Lyndale Ave. and Black Dog Rd., and replacing the pavement from 106th St. to Cliff Rd.

The project involved the Minnesota Department of Transportation, City of Burnsville, Bloomington, Hennepin County, and Dakota County. The task was to reconstruct the bridge, replace the pavement between 106th St. and Cliff Rd., raise I-35W away from the flood plain, and enhance motorist and pedestrian access across the river.


The reconstruction of the Minnesota River Bridge provided smoother road surfaces and upgraded drainage. It also improved safety and enhanced the mobility of both motorists and pedestrians.


The construction took $127 million to accomplish, while the project cost reached $147.6 million.

35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown, Minneapolis

About the Project

This construction project is located on I-35W on a 2.5 mile stretch between 15th St. and 43rd St.in Minneapolis. The work on 35W@94 involves the following:

  • Conversion of NB 1-35W PDSL between 26th St. to 46th St. to become a permanent E-ZPass Lane.
  • Construction of Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Station on Lake St.
  • Construction of a new E-ZPass lane on SB 1-35W
  • Construction of two new exit ramps to improve access from I-35W to Lake Street Business District
  • Upgrade the accessibility by enhancing pedestrian accommodations through sidewalk upgrades, curb ramps, and other pedestrian facilities
  • Rehabilitate the bridges and pavement on I-94 from Nicollet Ave. to Park Ave., Hwy 65 from 26th St. to 15th St., and I-35W from 46th St. to 11th Ave.
  • Rehabilitating existing and constructing new noise barriers throughout the project limits.


The project started on August 21, 2017, and was completed on September 10, 2021.


  • The project resulted in the rebuilding of 11 bridges, repair of 4 bridges, and the installment of fresh concrete on a 50-year-old freeway
  • New ramp access was built from I-35W north to 28th St. and another from I-35W south to Lake St.
  • The new pedestrian bridges are now wider and far more accessible.
  • The project increased traffic mobility and reduced congestion from 1-94 west to I-35W north.


The project took an astonishing $239 million to finish.

Twin Ports Interchange, Duluth

About the Project

The reconstruction of the interchanges in I-35, I-535, and Hwy 53 in Duluth is an ongoing endeavour to replace ageing infrastructure, improve safety by getting rid of left exits and blind merges, and enable better accommodation of freight movements by reconstructing interchanges next to the Clure Public Terminal.

The reconstruction work to improve safety involves the following:

  • Provide lane continuity through I-35 traffic
  • Eliminate weaving issues near the interchange
  • Eliminate merge conflict and improve merging sight distance
  • Relocate all entrances and exits to the roadway’s right side
  • Provide a new conventional design

Completing component 1 of the project is scheduled for 2021 to 2024. The environmental analysis and design of all the project components are underway.


As soon as the project is finished, it will enhance the safety of the interchanges by eliminating the left exits and blind merges, replacing any ageing infrastructure, and enhancing freight mobility.

The project will help improve freight connection by providing direct access for permitted loads that are overweight. As of now, the average annual daily traffic at the interchange is 80,000. The annual average daily traffic for heavy commercial freights is 5,320.

The Clure Public Terminal is an intermodal facility with rail, waterway, and highway freight connections. The project aims to provide first-mile and last-mile connections to the facility.

Estimated cost

The estimated cost to complete the project is $343 million.

Highway 47 and Highway 169, Anoka

Highway 47 is located between Clay Street in Anoka and the Mississippi River bridge. Highway 169 is located between Bunker Lake Boulevard in Anoka and Pleasant Street.

About the Project

Highway 47 was resurfaced from the south of Bunker Lake Boulevard in Anoka to Pleasant St. Highway 169 was resurfaced from Clay St. in Anoka to the north of the Mississippi River bridge. The project also improved drainage, included a new gutter and curb, added Audible Pedestrian Signals, and other improvements based on the Americans with Disability Act, including bicycle and pedestrian crossings along both highways.

In summary, the work includes the following:

  • Resurfacing of Highway 47 and Highway 169 in Anoka
  • Upgrading the storm and drainage sewers
  • Upgrading the approaches and pedestrian sidewalks based on standards set by the Americans with Disability Act

Construction began in July 2021 and was completed in October 2021.


The completion of the project provided:

  • Smooth and long-lasting road surfaces
  • Improved mobility and safety along the corridor
  • Upgraded the drainage system and enhanced pedestrian accessibility

I-94 and I-35E, St. Paul

About the Project

I-94 is located between Mounds Blvd. and Western Ave. In St. Paul. I-35E is situated between University Ave. and I-94 in St. Paul. The construction project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2021 and is set to be completed in the fall of 2022, with an estimated budget of $27 million.

MnDOT plans to resurface the interstate in I-94 between Mounds Boulevard and Western Avenue and I-35E between University Avenue and I-94. The project will also involve repairing the pavement and bridges, making ADA improvements, and fixing the drainage system.

In summary, work will require the following:

  • Repair and resurface I-35E and I-94
  • Improve storm sewers and repair drainage
  • Rehabilitate particular bridges
  • Repair and improve pedestrian sidewalks
  • Provide other safety improvements

Project Details

The project started in July 2021 with the repair and resurfacing of I-94 between Mounds Boulevard and Western Avenue and I-35E between University Avenue and I-94.

The work will also involve the following:

  • Ramp bridge from East 12th Street to SB I-35E repair
  • Ramp bridge from East 12th Street to WB I-94 repair
  • Ramp bridge from EB I-94 to E 6th Street repair
  • Robert St. bridge over I-35E resurface

The project will address the following:

  • Fix water leaks along the I-94 westbound side
  • Replace the railings on specific bridges
  • Build stormwater drainage systems
  • Replace freeway signs and lighting if necessary

Three construction stages will progress from the west side to the east. Each stage will have two sub-stages for outer lane and inner lane work. The construction is scheduled to start in mid-summer of 2021 and finish around the fall of 2022. The schedule is subject to change.


As soon as the project is completed, it is expected to provide the following benefits:

  • Offer smooth road surfaces
  • Improve mobility and safety along the corridor
  • Enhance pedestrian accessibility based on ADA standards
  • Upgrade the drainage system
  • Improve the condition of ramp bridges and extend their service life

Highway 14, Owatonna to Dodge Center

About the Project

Major construction on Highway 14 from Owatonna to Dodge Center began in 2020. The new route opened its doors to traffic on November 9, 2021. However, it is still set to be completed in 2022.

The project will expand 12.5 miles of Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center from two lanes to four lanes to create a continuous four-lane divided highway between Mankato and Rochester. Multiple routes improve access, safety, capacity, and travel times.


The completion of the project will improve travel mobility and safety and foster economic development.

Future Four-lane Expansions

Another four-lane expansion of Highway 14 will commence by 2022 from New Ulm to Nicollet, which will connect to the four-lane expansion from Nicollet to North Mankato. The construction is set to be completed by 2023.

Highway 10, Elk River

About the Project

The reconstruction and improvement project at Highway 10 in Elk River between Lowell Avenue and Xenia Avenue improves access at Proctor avenue and adds a multi-use trail. This $12.1 million project started on April 19, 2021, and was completed on November 19, 2021.

The work included the following:

  • Reconstruction of the one-mile road surface of Highway 10 from Xenia Avenue to 4th Street Northwest
  • Installation of dual left-turn lanes on Proctor Avenue to Highway 10
  • Construction of multi-use trail from Lowell Avenue to Simonet Drive
  • Reconstruction of ramp approaches and pedestrian sidewalk segments
  • Upgrade of signal systems at Upland Avenue and Proctor Avenue


The completion of the project provides the following benefits:

  • Smoother road surface
  • Improved safety and access for pedestrians and motorists
  • Updated stormwater drainage

Intersection Improvements at Bunker Lake Blvd and St Francis Blvd

The Saint Francis Boulevard and Bunker Lake Boulevard intersection is located in Anoka and Ramsey. Both roads facilitate local and regional travel. Saint Francis Boulevard acts as a minor connector and a principal arterial between Highway 169 and Highway 10. Bunker Lake Boulevard is a minor reliever that accommodates annual daily traffic of around 12,800, which is expected to double in another 20 years.

About the Project

The intersection improvements are expected to increase intersection capacity by adding more travel and turn lanes. Left-turn lanes will accommodate turns coming from St Francis Blvd going to Bunker Lake Blvd. This improvement is expected to increase road safety and lessen traffic backup lengths.

The project also involves widening the OxBow Bridge to the east of the intersection. It will accommodate a turn lane designed for vehicles coming from Bunker Lake Blvd going to St. Francis Blvd. This turn lane improvement will help enhance the capacity of the intersection to accommodate more traffic.

Highway 200, Walker

About the Project

MnDOT planned to resurface a 15.6-mile expanse of highway near Leech Lake. The project aims to add turn lanes, widen the shoulders, and replace two culverts. The project had an estimated $10.6 million budget and was expected to be finished by October 2021.

The work involved the following:

  • Resurface the 15.6 long section of Highway 200 between Highway 84 and Highway 371
  • Replace the Cedar Creek and Bag Creek box culverts
  • Widen the shoulders
  • Add turn lanes

Before the construction project, a tree clearing was scheduled from January to March 2021. Construction began in May 2021 and was completed in October 202.


The completion of the project is expected to make the highway safer, improve the drainage, and extend the life service of the road.

Highway 87, Frazee to Evergreen

About the Project

The reconstruction of a 26-mile section of Highway 87 spanning from Frazee to the Evergreen is a $13.8 million project that started in May 2021 and was completed in October 2021.

The project is part of a larger project that involves the reconstruction of Highway 87 from the Becker/Wadena County Line to Evergreen. There were several operations done simultaneously to complete the project.


The completion of the 26-mile road reconstruction resulted in wider shoulders and smoother road surface from Frazee to Evergreen. Also, the sightlines, bridge, and drainage were improved.

Highway 60, Waterville

About the Project

The 17-mile span of Highway 60 involved in this project is between Highway 13 at Waterville and Highway 14 east of Mankato. It was scheduled for construction in 2021 with an estimated cost of $21 million.

The work involves:

  • Improving the pavement on the 17-mile stretch of the corridor of Highway 60
  • Reclaiming the pavement and resurfacing
  • Reconstructing through Madison Lake
  • Enhancing pedestrian ramps to suit ADA standards
  • Modifying turn lanes and access
  • Removing and replacing sections. of poor sidewalk
  • Adding country road lighting
  • Improving Madison Lake Infrastructure

Highway 12 and Highway 40, Willmar

About the Project

MnDOT scheduled the realignment of Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40 on July 8, 2019, to facilitate the Willmar Wye railroad line. The project also included the construction of two new bridges. The roadway construction was completed in July 2021, while the rail line construction is expected to be completed in 2022.

Motorists are warned to exercise caution when driving through the area, especially when encountering heavy equipment entering or exiting during the ongoing railway construction.

As of July 2, 2021, the roadway part of the project was substantially completed. The railway spur construction began afterward. On October 8, 2021, the roadway part of the project was fully completed.

Project Summary

The project was set to facilitate the construction of a new rail line located on the west side of the City of Willmar. The project aims to realign Highway 12, reconstruct Highway 40, and construct two new bridges. The rail line connects two main track subdivisions, the Marshall subdivision and the Morris Subdivision. Both subdivisions serve many customers both locally and nationally.

The road construction was scheduled for the summer of 2019 and was estimated to end in the fall of 2021. The rail construction was planned for the summer of 2021 and is estimated to finish by the fall of 2022. The project was awarded to the Hoffman Team, consisting of the Hoffman Construction Company, Bolton & Menk, Inc., and Lunda Construction Company.

Project Purpose

MnDOT, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, City of Willmar, Kandiyohi County, and other partners of MnDOT plan to add a rail connecting two existing railway lines to facilitate freight movement throughout the City of Willmar and other surrounding areas.

The project will connect the BNSF rail network’s Morris and Marshall subdivisions. This connection will lower the number of trains required to pull into downtown Willmar’s rail yard. It will also include a rail spur intended to grant industrial park access in the city.

Project Benefits

The completion of the Wye project is expected to yield the following benefits:

  • Enhance freight rail access for shippers
  • Improve traveller safety by reducing crossing exposure
  • Foster economic growth
  • Enhance the quality of life
  • Lower the number of trains going through downtown Willmar

Highway 12, County Road 90

About the Project

MnDOT and Hennepin County plan to construct three projects in 2021 and 2022 to reduce crashes and improve safety along Highway 12.

A center concrete barrier was installed from the County Road 6 to Baker Park Road section of Highway 12 to eliminate head-on crashes. This project was completed in September 2021.

At County Road 90, a roundabout was installed. Other improvements include:

  • A westbound roundabout for expansion
  • A wider road
  • A raised concrete median 15-foot wide
  • Improved sightlines upon entering Highway 12
  • Drainage ponds for environmental protection
  • Access for bicyclists and walkers crossing Highway 12
  • A reconfigured road for better lane connection to Highway 12

At County Road 92, Hennepin County leads a project to address safety issues. The project is designed to realign the road with a bridge over the highway and the railroad tracks. It will include the construction of a roundabout to facilitate traffic entering and exiting Highway 12 from Co. Rd.92.

The cost of the project is estimated at $22 million. It started in the spring of 2021 and is expected to be completed in September 2022.


As soon as the project is complete, it is expected to reduce the risk of crashes and increase safety within the corridor. The center concrete barrier will decrease the likelihood of head-on collisions. The roundabout and the improved intersection will enhance the flow of traffic.

Maneuvering through Road Construction

Whenever you enter areas near construction projects, it is essential to follow these tips:

  • Observe warning and detour signs
  • Always be on the alert
  • Look out for equipment, workers, and signs
  • Do not eat, drink, or use cell phones while driving
  • Follow posted speed limits to avoid fines
  • Avoid tailgating
  • Stay in one lane when driving through work zones
  • Do not make any unnecessary lane changes
  • Never enter a road blocked by cones or barriers

A work zone can become a danger zone if you do not apply sound judgment, follow the rules, or stay alert. Some people mistake not paying attention, driving too fast, and following other motorists too closely. Avoid getting into an accident in work zones by following the tips above.

Final Word

Big road construction projects in Minnesota enhance the quality of life of people in the State, encourage economic growth, and make travel a lot easier. Hence, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, in partnership with local governments and businesses, is doing its best to complete projects on time.

If you live in the State of Minnesota, these projects will impact your life, travel plans, and economic opportunities. Check out our homepage if you are looking for Storm Damage Repair & Roofing Contractors in Minnesota. For more articles like this, check other information on our news page.