Interstate 494

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This article is about the beltway around portions of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. For the abandoned plans for an Interstate bypass through the West Side of Chicago, see Interstate 494 (Illinois).

Interstate 494 marker

Interstate 494
Interstate 494 highlighted in red.
Route information
Maintained by Mn/DOT
Length: 43.00 mi[1] (69.20 km)
Existed: 1985 – present
Major junctions
West end: I-94 / I-694 in Maple Grove
  I-394 / US 12 in Minnetonka
US 212 in Eden Prairie
US 169 in Bloomington
I-35W in Bloomington
I-35E in Mendota Heights
US 52 in Inver Grove Heights
US 10 / US 61 in Newport
East end: I-94 / I-694 in Woodbury/Oakdale
Location
Counties: Washington, Dakota, Hennepin
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
I-394 I-535

Interstate 494 (I-494, usually referred to in speech as simply "494") is a loop route making up part of a beltway of Interstate 94, circling through the southern and western portions of the Minneapolis – Saint Paul metropolitan area in Minnesota. The 43-mile (69 km) road is coupled with Interstate 694 (which circles the northern edge of the Twin Cities metro area) at each end, and composes more than half of the major beltway of the region. I-694 / I-494 also act as loop routes for Interstate 35E and Interstate 35W.

I-494 has a few intersections with other interstates:

The speed limit on I-494 is 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). Interstate highways outside of the loop in Minnesota may be signed as high as 70 mph (110 km/h). Most highways inside the loop are signed at speeds of 55 mph (90 km/h) or lower, though a few exceptions were added in September 2005, allowing speeds of up to 60 mph (97 km/h) in some places. Those roads had been signed at 60 mph (97 km/h) or higher up until the gasoline crises of the 1970s.

Route description[edit]

Exit numbering of Interstate 494 is unusual in that it begins at the Minnesota River heading westbound (between Mendota Heights and Bloomington), and continues clockwise around the entire beltway. The last exit is #71 to Pilot Knob Road. The most significant landmark on the length of I-494 is Mall of America, just south of the intersection of I-494 and State Highway 77.

Legally, the route of Interstate 494 is defined as part of unmarked legislative route 393 in Minnesota Statutes § 161.12(5). [1] Interstate 494 is not marked with this legislative number along the actual highway.

History[edit]

Construction on Interstate 494 first began in the late 1950s, and it was finally completed in 1985. Upgrades continue to be made to widen Interstate 494 to at least three lanes in each direction.

Expansion of the Wakota Bridge between Newport and South St. Paul over the Mississippi River was completed in the summer of 2010. The bridge is named so because it connects Washington County and Dakota County. Near the end of this effort, Interstate 494 was widened from two to three lanes between Lake Road and I-94 in Woodbury.

A major reconstruction / widening project of I-494 was completed in fall 2006 between U.S. Highway 212 / State Highway 5 in Eden Prairie and Carlson Parkway at Minnetonka / Plymouth. Plans for up to six lanes in each direction for parts of I-494 in Bloomington are proposed but not yet funded.

494 Corridor Commission[edit]

The 494 Corridor Commission, also known as 494 Commuter Services, is a non-profit organization aimed at reducing traffic congestion along the southwest section of the Interstate 494 corridor. In 1988, the cities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, and Richfield joined together to address traffic congestion and work towards improving I-494. The organization's mission is to promote economic growth and regional prosperity through improved transportation options along the highway, such as carpooling and bus transit. The organization's board of directors consists of representatives from each of the five member cities, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, and the private business community.[2]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Washington Woodbury I-694 north Counterclockwise exit and clockwise entrance
58 I-94 – St. Paul, Madison Signed as exits 58A (west) and 58B (east)
58C Tamarack Road
59 Valley Creek Road Past unsigned southern terminus of Highway 120
60 Lake Road
Newport 63 US 10 / US 61 / Bailey Road – St. Paul, Hastings Signed as exits 63A (west/north) and 63B (east/south)
63C Maxwell Avenue
Dakota South St. Paul 64A Hardman Avenue
64B MN 156 (Concord Street)
65 5th Avenue, 7th Avenue
Inver Grove Heights 66 US 52 – St. Paul, Rochester
67 MN 3 (Robert Street) / MN 110
Eagan
Mendota Heights
69 MN 149 (Dodd Road) to MN 55 MN 55 crosses I-494 west of I-35E, but with no direct access
70 I-35E – St. Paul, Albert Lea
71 County 31 (Pilot Knob Road)
Hennepin Bloomington 1A MN 5 east / 7th Street – Terminal 1, St. Paul Eastern end of MN 5 overlap
1B 34th Avenue – Terminal 2 Diverging diamond interchange, existing interchange converted November 2013; Hiawatha (Blue Line) light rail runs in the median of 34th Avenue[3]
2A 24th Avenue
Bloomington
Richfield
2BC MN 77 (Cedar Avenue) Signed as exits 2B (north) and 2C (south)
3 12th Avenue, Portland Avenue
4A Nicollet Avenue
4B Lyndale Avenue
5 I-35W – Minneapolis, Albert Lea Signed as exits 5A (north) and 5B (south)
6A County 32 (Penn Avenue)
Bloomington 6B County 17 (France Avenue)
7A MN 100
7B County 34 (Normandale Boulevard)
8 County 28 (East Bush Lake Road)
10 US 169 Signed as exits 10A (north) and 10B (south)
Eden Prairie 11A County 61 (Flying Cloud Drive)
11B US 212 east
11C US 212 west / MN 5 west Western end of MN 5 overlap
12 County 39 (Valley View Road) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Minnetonka 13 MN 62 / County 62
16 MN 7 Signed as exits 16A (east) and 16B (west)
17 Minnetonka Boulevard
19 I-394 east / US 12 – Minneapolis, Wayzata Signed as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west)
Plymouth 20 Carlson Parkway
21 County 6
22 MN 55
23 County 9 (Rockford Road)
Maple Grove 26 County 10 (Bass Lake Road)
27 I-94 west – St. Cloud
I-94 east / I-694 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing