Public Works divisions:
34th Avenue/I-494 Interchange
Diverging diamond interchange removes left turn arrows
Over the next 20 to 25 years, the South Loop District is predicted to accommodate 65 percent of the development growth occurring in the City. The 34th Avenue/I-494 interchange was last reconstructed in 1985 in conjunction with the revamped 494 crossing of the Minnesota River. The intersection was then modified in 2003 to accommodate the very-successful Hiawatha Light Rail (also known as the Blue Line).
In 2008, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Bloomington, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission funded a preliminary traffic study to look at the future needs and potential alterations of the interchange. The preliminary study identified the need for reconstruction to accommodate projected traffic in the South Loop District area.
Diverging diamond interchange
In 2010, various intersection alternatives were evaluated resulting in a diverging diamond interchange as the preferred intersection alternative. A DDI simplifies traffic operations at a conventional interchange by removing turning traffic from the signalized ramp intersections. This is accomplished by crossing traffic to the left side of the roadway between the signalized ramps. This allows right and left turn movements to the freeway entrance ramps to occur unopposed and without stopping. Hiawatha light rail transit will continue to run in the center median of 34th Avenue with the DDI configuration.
The project is a joint effort between the City of Bloomington, MAC, and MnDOT, with MAC as the lead agency.
The majority of the project is being funded through a Transportation Economic Development (TED) grant that was awarded in 2011. Remaining project costs are being funded by the MAC and City through a cost share agreement.
The tentative schedule for this project is:
Diverging Diamond Interchange Update September 2013
For the most current project information, impacts to public transit, and detour route information please visit the Metropolitan Airports Commission project website.
Throughout the project design and construction, updates will be provided via this website, the project update page listed below, through E-Subscribe.
For more information, contact:
Allen Dye, Airport Project Manager
Jim Gates, Deputy Director of Public Works
Tom Bowlin, Civil Engineer - Transportation