An Interstate 494 improvement project that includes its Eden Prairie, Edina, Richfield and Bloomington corridor, has been awarded $60 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Initial fundings for the project were awarded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation beginning in 2018 for MnPASS lanes and the re-alignment of the I-35W and I-494 interchange.
The project’s website notes that the work is designed to reduce traffic and improve safety along the 494 corridor. It will improve the I-35/I494 interchange and improve access approaches and ramps at Nicollet Avenue, Portland Avenue and 12th Avenue.
In a news release issued on June 29, 2021, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (MN CD3) explained that the grant is being piped through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program.
According to the Phillips’ news release, letters advocating federal support for the MnDOT project were sent this May to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Among the advocates for the project were Governor Tim Walz, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Reps. Angie Craig and Ilhan Omar, county commissioners, mayors, chambers of commerce, and business leaders from FedEx, Eden Prairie companies Starkey Hearing and CH Robinson and Representative Phillips.
”This grant,” writes Phillips in the news release, “will make crucial investments in safety improvements, traffic mitigation, and environmental protection, benefitting thousands of Minnesotans who travel the stretch of highway each day and local businesses who rely on the I-494 thoroughfare to move freight.”