A public hearing is scheduled for 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5, to review and submit formal comments on an environmental assessment of planned construction improvements to Interstate 494, between Highway 169 and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) hosts it at the Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road.
A formal presentation on the environmental assessment, which evaluates the project’s potential impacts on the local community and natural environment, will begin at 5 p.m.
People can attend in person or sign up to attend the virtual event. Those who can’t make either can submit comments on the website through May 19.
The environmental review process of the project will continue through the summer. If all goes as planned, the first part of construction on the $320 million project could begin in the summer of 2023.
To alleviate congestion along the southwest portion of I-494, MnDOT has been working with officials from cities along the corridor (Eden Prairie, Edina, Richfield, and Bloomington) to develop a long-term vision of how to increase its capacity and better serve the multimodal needs of the community.
That includes improvements for safety and mobility and extending the life of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure on the stretch.
According to MnDOT’s website, the I-494 vision is a major construction project that cannot be built all at once due to funding limitations and impacts during construction. The implementation plan identified four separate construction projects to complete the entire I-494 corridor vision.
In 2021, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $60 million to aid in constructing the first project of the I-494 corridor vision implementation plan.