Interstate 494

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Interstate 494 marker

Interstate 494

I-494 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-94
Maintained by MnDOT
Length43 mi[1] (69 km)
Existed1985[citation needed]–present
Major junctions
West end I-94 / I-694 / US 52 in Maple Grove
Major intersections
East end I-94 / I-694 / US 12 in Woodbury/Oakdale
Location
CountryUnited States
StateMinnesota
CountiesWashington, Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highway System
I-394 I-535

Interstate 494 (I-494) is a bypass 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 crisis of the 1970s.

Route description[edit]

Exit numbering of Interstate 494 is unusual in that it begins at the Minnesota River heading westbound (between Eagan and Bloomington), and continues clockwise around the entire beltway, continuing clockwise onto Interstate 694. The last exit east of the Minnesota River is #71 to Pilot Knob Road. The first exit west of the river is #1A, which grants access to eastbound State Highway 5 and airport terminal 1. 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. With the most recent expansion completed in November 2016 in Plymouth, Interstate 494 is now at least three lanes in each direction for its entire route.

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. There were plans for up to six lanes in each direction for parts of I-494 in Bloomington, but the majority of the city only sees four lanes, and sees five in only two spots: eastbound at the East Bush Lake Road exit, and further eastbound at the point where I-494 and MN-5 separate from each other.

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 in each direction between Lake Road and I-94 in Woodbury.

Traffic[edit]

Since its opening, I-494 has been subjected to numerous traffic problems, both eastbound and westbound. Vehicles usually start to slow down at the U.S. Highway 169 interchange in Bloomington, and continues to slow at the interchange with State Highway 100, at the Bloomington-Edina city line. However, traffic is the worst at the interchange for I-35W, which is located at the Bloomington-Richfield city line.[2] Currently, information about the study is on the City of Bloomington's website,[3] with more information starting to come from MnDOT.[4] The plan is scoped between US-169 to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The road sees over 500,000 passengers per day, with it being congested for more than 30% of the day. So far, MnDOT has determined to add MnPASS lanes eastbound from France Avenue to State Highway 77, and westbound from MN-77 to I-35W. They also plan to construct a turbine-style ramp for Northbound I-35W from westbound I-494. In an effort to reduce congestion on the highway and on exits as well, MnDOT is planning to close all ramps at Nicollet Avenue and 12th Avenue, and construct a full-access interchange at CSAH 35 (Portland Avenue), with two on ramps and two off ramps to replace the ramps.[5] Problems have been addressed throughout the entire corridor, with all the highways being included. Construction for Metro Transit's Orange line tunnel began in 2019, and is still currently underway. The rest of the corridor is still being studied, with plans for construction to begin between 2022 and 2024.

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 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.[6]

Exit list[edit]

CountyLocationmi[7]kmExitDestinationsNotes
WashingtonOakdale58.15893.596
I-694 north
Continuation beyond I-94
OakdaleWoodbury line58 I-94 / US 12 – St. Paul, Eau ClaireSigned as exits 58A (west) and 58B (east); I-94 exit 249
Woodbury58.99994.95058CTamarack Road
59.85296.32259 Valley Creek Road (CSAH 16)Formerly MN 120
60.69097.67160
Lake Road (CSAH 25 north)
RamseyWashington
county line
MaplewoodNewport line63.177101.67463A




US 10 west / US 61 north / CSAH 18 east (Bailey) / Great River Road (National Route) north – St. Paul
Bailey Rd. not signed eastbound; eastern end of Great River Road overlap
WashingtonNewport63B

US 10 east / US 61 south – Hastings
63.408102.04563C
Maxwell Avenue (CSAH 38 south)
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
DakotaSouth St. Paul63.995102.990Wakota Bridge over the Mississippi River
64.204103.32664AHardman Avenue
64.646104.03864B

CSAH 56 (Concord Street) / Great River Road (National Route) south
Formerly MN 156; previously MN 56; western end of Great River Road overlap
65.125–
65.251
104.809–
105.011
655th Avenue, 7th Avenue
Inver Grove Heights66.148106.45566 US 52 – St. Paul, Rochester
66.391–
67.170
106.846–
108.100
67 MN 3 (Robert Street) / MN 62MN 62 is not accessible eastbound. Instead, traffic must exit to MN 3 and go north to gain access
EaganMendota Heights line70.049112.73369
MN 149 (Dodd Road) to MN 55
MN 55 crosses I-494 west of I-35E, but with no direct access
70.815113.96670 I-35E – St. Paul, Albert LeaI-35E exits 99A-B
71.906115.72171 CSAH 31 (Pilot Knob Road)
DakotaHennepin
county line
EaganMendota Heights
Bloomington tripoint
73.021
0.000
117.516
0.000
I-494 Bridge over the Minnesota River
HennepinBloomington1.2572.0231A
MN 5 east – Terminal 1
Eastern end of MN 5 overlap
1.6372.6341B 34th Avenue – Terminal 2Diverging diamond interchange; METRO Blue Line light rail runs in the median of 34th Avenue[8]
2.3553.7902A
CSAH 1 south (24th Avenue)
BloomingtonRichfield line2.8364.5642 MN 77 (Cedar Avenue)Signed as exits 2B (north) and 2C (south)
3.358–
3.856
5.404–
6.206
3 CSAH 35 (Portland Avenue) / 12th Avenue12th Ave. ramps to be removed in the Airport to US-169 Project
Portland Ave. will become full access
4.3577.0124A
CSAH 52 north (Nicollet Avenue)
To be removed in the Airport to US-169 Project
4.8547.8124BLyndale Avenue
5.3438.5995 I-35W – Minneapolis, Albert LeaSigned as exits 5A (north) and 5B (south); I-35W exits 9A-B
5.8519.4166A CSAH 32 (Penn Avenue)
Bloomington6.87511.0646B CSAH 17 (France Avenue)
7.92612.7567
MN 100 north / CSAH 34 (Normandale Boulevard)
Signed as exits 7A (north) and 7B (south)
8.52113.7138 CSAH 28 (E. Bush Lake Road)
BloomingtonEden Prairie line10.11416.27710A US 169Eastbound access to US 169 north via exit 10B
10BWashington AvenueEastbound exit and westbound entrance
Eden Prairie11.65918.76311A CSAH 61 (Flying Cloud Drive) / Prairie Center DriveWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
11.92319.18811

US 212 west / MN 5 west
Western end of MN 5 overlap, Signed as 11B (east) and 11C (west)
12.23319.68712 CSAH 39 (Valley View Road)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Minnetonka13.89922.36813

MN 62 east / CSAH 62 west
16.26726.17916 MN 7Signed as exits 16A (east) and 16B (west)
16.97027.31117Minnetonka Boulevard
19.51331.40319
I-394 east / US 12 – Minneapolis, Wayzata
Cloverleaf interchange; signed as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west); I-394/US 12 exit 1A-B
Plymouth20.36632.77620Carlson Parkway
21.30234.28221 CSAH 6
22.27235.84322 MN 55
23.52237.85523 CSAH 9 (Rockford Road)
Maple Grove26.20342.17026 CSAH 10 (Bass Lake Road)
27.99345.05027
I-94 west / US 52 west – St. Cloud
Northbound left exit and southbound entrance; I-94 exit 216


I-94 east / I-694 east / US 52 north
Beltway continues as I-94/I-694 east/US 52 south
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interstate 494 Minnesota". Interstate-Guide.com. Retrieved May 17, 2005.[self-published source?]
  2. ^ "I-35W/I-494 Interchange Improvements | City of Bloomington MN". Archived from the original on July 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "I-494 and I-35W in Richfield - MnDOT".
  4. ^ "I-494: Airport to Hwy 169".
  5. ^ "6. Changes to Access — I-494: Airport to Hwy 169".
  6. ^ "494 Corridor Commission - Who We Are". Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Minnesota Department of Transportation (August 14, 2014). "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Transportation. pp. 54–61. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "34th Avenue/I-494 Interchange: Diverging diamond interchange removes right turn arrows". City of Bloomington. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata