Interstate 94 lane closures will affect area motorists

Highway 10 will be probably be the best travel option for Monticello-area motorists now that dual-direction Interstate 94 lane closures have started.
Motorists travelling between the Twin Cities metro area and St. Cloud will encounter delays beginning today (Monday, Sept. 24), when both directions of Interstate 94 are reduced to a single lane between Highway 24 in Clearwater and County Road 75 in St. Cloud, said J.P. Gillach, MnDOT District 3 public affairs coordinator.

MnDOT has set up this detour on County Road 75 between Clearwater and Hasty to ease the impact of two-way lane closures  between St. Cloud and Clearwater. When I-94 traffic backs up, the detour will become active, directing people to Highway 24 at County Road 8.

Both directions of I-94 will be reduced to a single lane during daytime hours Mondays through Saturdays. No lane closures are currently planned Sundays, he said.
Traffic forecasts show backups on westbound I-94 could exceed 20 miles during Friday afternoon and evening rush periods. Major delays also are expected on westbound I-94 on Thursday afternoons and evenings, and possibly midday on Saturdays. On eastbound I-94, increased travel times are likely during morning and evening rush hours. “It going to take about a week before people find their preferred traffic patterns. The first few days will be the hardest,” Gillach said.
According to Gillach, County Road 75 will be motorists’ other alternate route. MnDOT will set up a detour on County Road 75 between Clearwater and Hasty.
“When I-94 traffic backs up, that will become active, directing people to Highway 24 at County Road 8. That’s one of the management strategies,” Gillach said.
Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes, use the “zipper merge” during times of slow moving traffic and be prepared to stop. Drivers are reminded to navigate the work zone with caution whenever flashing lights, workers and orange cones or barrels are present. Gillach suggested motorists check MnDOT’s online information sources before heading out. “They can go to the project web page, where we will have electronic links and updated information,” he said.
For project details, including the construction schedule, travel information and tips on how to navigate work zones during construction, visit the project’s website at www.mndot.gov/d3/i94/. Motorists interested in receiving project updates and traffic changes can sign up at that address to get updates via email.

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