Anyone who has made the commute from St. Cloud to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International airport knows that at certain times of the day it can get very congested at one certain part of the drive.  It can be congested even when no other part of the road is congested.

The stretch of road that I'm referring to is I-494 at 35W.  It is ALWAYS congested right there, unless you are driving at 3 in the morning or something.  Other than that, you can always expect delays.

The delays are going to get worse starting this week, with the end result hopefully being a lot faster through that area.

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A new construction project has been started, and is expected to have seasonal work done through 2026, approximately.

According to KARE 11, the construction project includes several aspects.

The project, which began this week, includes adding an E-ZPass lane on 494 from Highway 100 to Interstate 35W and a new flyover ramp from 35W to I-494.

Leaders with the Department of Transportation say 2024 and 2025 are when the major impacts of the construction will be most noticeable, with the $377 million project wrapping up in 2026.

Yes, this s going to make things even more congested and inconvenient for awhile, but hopefully it will be leading to something that will be much better when the project wraps up.  Until that time, if you are going to be flying out of that airport, allow a lot of extra time, or just use the park/sleep/fly option at one of the hotels around the airport.  This is a great option for early morning flights, stay the night, don't drive as far the morning of your flight and leave your car there for the duration of your vacation or trip.

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