South Metro (inside the Beltway)
This page covers I-35E from the I-494 interchange in Eagan to the I-94 "Capitol Interchange" in downtown St. Paul. Total length of this section is approximately 7.8 miles.
This segment incidentally has both one of the oldest and one of the newest sections of freeway in the Twin Cities. The "Lexington Bridge" (Mississippi River crossing), along with the section between MN 110 and MN 5, opened in the early 1960s. On the other end of the spectrum, the last portion south of I-94 did not open until 1992. One thing that delayed the completion of I-35E was major controversy in St. Paul over the routing and design between MN 5 and I-94. Local residents were successful in holding up construction on what was in 1972 planned as a 6-lane freeway (with construction scheduled for that year), and progress was stalled in the courts. The court settlement that allowed MnDOT to complete I-35E placed heavy restrictions on the route: a 4-lane "parkway"-like design (with landscaped median), a 45 MPH speed limit, and a ban on trucks larger than 9,000 pounds. While that appeased the local residents enough to the point where construction could begin, drivers have been less happy about the design. Traffic backups are common, and most drivers ignore the 45 MPH speed limit when traffic allows it. Anger against the low speed limit has gotten to the point where legislation has been introduced in recent years to raise the speed limit. Such legislation has yet to be approved, and I would suspect that if passed, MnDOT would find a lawsuit against it as soon as it attempted to raise the speed limit.
Other controversy with the route continues. During the initial 1970s grading construction (before it was halted), connector ramps were constructed to Ayd Mill Rd, although these ramps were not opened until a reconstruction project began on I-94 in downtown St. Paul in the early '90s. After I-94 construction was completed, the ramps were closed and were actually sodded/grassed-over. Ongoing studies in St. Paul regarding what to do with Ayd Mill Rd led to a decision to reopen the ramps around 2003 to study their traffic effects. The ramps remain open today, but are a source of contention for some area residents.
Average Daily Traffic Counts
|N of I-494||N/A||N/A||N/A||46,000||33,000||39,000||46,000||55,000|
|N of MN 110||10,200||9,300||14,300||33,000||36,000||45,500||53,000||63,000|
|N of MN 13||19,300||18,800||23,000||42,000||43,000||55,000||60,000||72,000|
|N of Shepard Rd||9,600||9,600||12,500||27,500||33,000||44,000||55,000||63,000|
|N of MN 5||N/A||N/A||11,400||21,500||28,100||41,500||62,500||72,000|
|N of Randolph Ave||N/A||N/A||6,600||12,700||14,500||27,000||50,000||60,000|
|N of Victoria St||N/A||N/A||N/A||13,200||14,700||28,000||52,000||64,000|
|N of St. Clair Ave||N/A||N/A||N/A||12,400||15,800||30,000||56,000||70,000|
|N of Grand Ave||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||8,000||32,000||46,500||63,000|
|N of Kellogg Blvd||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||31,000||50,000|
|N of I-494||60,000||64,000||73,000||74,000||79,000||90,000||+50%|
|N of MN 110||66,000||69,000||76,000||77,000||82,000||81,000||+23%|
|N of MN 13||72,000||77,000||80,000||81,000||75,000||87,000||+21%|
|N of Shepard Rd||65,000||67,000||71,000||72,000||72,000||77,000||+18%|
|N of MN 5||76,000||79,000||84,000||85,000||80,000||92,000||+21%|
|N of Randolph Ave||67,000||70,000||74,000||74,000||74,000||74,000||+10%|
|N of Victoria St||71,000||73,000||77,000||77,000||77,000||77,000||+8%|
|N of St. Clair Ave||79,000||81,000||85,000||85,000||85,000||84,000||+6%|
|N of Grand Ave||72,000||70,000||76,000||76,000||77,000||76,000||+6%|
|N of Kellogg Blvd||59,000||55,000||59,000||59,000||61,000||60,000||+2%|
Opened in sections between MN 5 and I-94 between 1984 and 1992.
Opened between I-494 and MN 110 in 1986.
2004 traffic counts between MN 13 and MN 5 were affected by reconstruction of the Lexington Bridge.
Click HERE for the Exit List
Last updated 12 May, 2008