Interstate 35W in Minnesota


Begin Apple Valley
End Forest Lake
Length 42 mi
Length 67 km
  • 88 → Des Moines1 County Road 42
  • 2 Burnsville Parkway
  • 3 State Highway 13
  • 4A River Ridge Boulevard
  • 4B Black Dog Road
  • 5 106th Street
  • 6 98th Street
  • 7A 94th Street
  • 7B 90th Street
  • 8 82nd Street
  • 9 → Twin Cities Beltway
  • 9C 77th Street
  • 10 66th Street
  • 11 → Edina / Airport
  • 12 54th Street
  • 13 46th Street
  • 14 36th Street
  • 15 31st Street
  • 16 Downtown Minneapolis
  • 17 → Fargo / Milwaukee
  • 18 4th Street
  • 19 Hennepin Avenue
  • 21 New Brighton Boulevard
  • 22 Anthony Boulevard
  • 23 → Roseville
  • 23A → North St. Paul
  • 24 City Centre Drive
  • 25A County Road D
  • 25B New Brighton Boulevard
  • 26 County Road E2
  • 27 → Twin Cities Beltway
  • 28A Highway 96
  • 28B
  • 28C County Road 9
  • 29 County Road I
  • 30 → Coon Rapids
  • 31 Lake Drive
  • 32 Lovell Road
  • 33 Lexington Avenue
  • 36 Lake Drive
  • 127 → Duluth

Interstate 35W is part of Interstate 35 in Minnesota and runs through the Twin Cities. The I-35W is the branch that serves the city of Minneapolis. The highway runs from the suburb of Apple Valley via Minneapolis to Forest Lake and is 67 kilometers long.

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Travel directions

I-35W near Burnsville, a southern suburb of Minneapolis.

I-35W at Downtown Minneapolis.

Around the fork of I-35, I-35W descends more than 100 meters from the Apple Valley suburb to the Burnsville suburb, overlooking the metropolitan region and the Minneapolis skyline in the distance. I-35W has 2×3 lanes here and crosses the Minnesota River. The highway then leads through the suburb of Bloomington, after which a junction with the ring road follows, here formed by Interstate 494. Shortly afterwards, in the Richfield suburb, a short confluence with State Route 62 follows , this section has a short parallel structure with 14 lanes. I-35W then carries 2×4 lanes to Downtown Minneapolis.

At the height of the center I-35W has a confluence with Interstate 94, this part also has a short parallel structure. I-35W then exits and crosses the Mississippi River on the east side of downtown via the Saint Anthony Falls Bridge. I-35W will then run in 2×3 lanes through the northern neighborhoods and suburbs of Minneapolis. At the level of the New Brighton suburb, there is a junction with Interstate 694, which forms the northern ring road of the conurbation. I-35W then curves northeast through less developed suburbs and exurbs before merging with I-35E again just before Forest Lake and continuing on I-35.

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Express Lanes

Express lanes have been constructed on I-35W between Burnsville Parkway and I-94 at Downtown Minneapolis. These are lanes where tolls are charged during rush hour, so that these lanes remain free-flow. Unlike express lanes elsewhere in the United States, these lanes are existing capacity, except through the Crosstown Commons (see above), where they have restrictions. The lanes are free to all vehicles outside rush hour, during rush hour a dynamic toll fee must be paid with the MnPASS, Minnesota’s electronic toll system.

The express lanes are criticized because the toll rates are said to be too high and have not been realized as extra capacity. In fact, they have been converted from regular lanes into bus lanes that are also available to regular road users for a fee. There is a bus terminal in the median strip at 46th Street.


Construction of I-35 West, the branch through Minneapolis, progressed more smoothly than I-35 East through St. Paul, but was nevertheless relatively slow. In 1960, the first part opened in the southern city of Bloomington. The bridge over the Minnesota River opened in 1961, and the first section north of the city opened in 1965. The highway opened further fragmented, especially the bypass of downtown Minneapolis took quite a while. The bridge over the Mississippi River opened in 1967, but it wasn’t until 1976 before the last link north of downtown was closed and I-35 could be used continuously from Iowa to Duluth.

Opening history

Van Unpleasant Length Opening
Exit 5 Exit 11 10 km 1960
Exit 3 Exit 5 3 km 1961
Exit 23 Exit 31 13 km 1965
Exit 22 Exit 23 2 km 1966
Exit 0 Exit 3 5 km 1967
Exit 11 Exit 16 8 km 1968
Exit 16 Exit 17 2 km 1969
Exit 31 Exit 36 8 km 1969
Exit 36 Exit 42 10 km 1970
Exit 17 Exit 18 1 km 1970
Exit 18 Exit 19 1 km 1973
Exit 21 Exit 23 3 km 1973
Exit 19 Exit 21 3 km 1976

Mississippi River Bridge collapse

Zie ook I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge.

In 2007, the Mississippi River bridge collapsed, one of the most prominent US infrastructure failures in recent history. The steel truss arch bridge collapsed during rush hour on August 1, 2007. At the time of the collapse, there was an altered lane configuration due to road works, which combined with a design flaw led to the collapse. 100 vehicles fell into the Mississippi River. 13 drivers were killed.

I-35W was and is a vital link in the highway network of the Minneapolis region. The region has a very dense highway network, but most highways are not wide. Thanks to the dense network, traffic could be properly diverted. Through traffic was diverted through St. Paul via I-35W. Traffic destined in or near Downtown Minneapolis was diverted via State Route 280, which was made grade separated by closing side streets.

The bridge was replaced in a year by a concrete bridge, the Saint Anthony Falls Bridge. It opened to traffic on September 18, 2008. The replacement bridge cost $234 million.

Crosstown Commons

I-35W near State Route 62 in south Minneapolis.

The Crosstown Commons was a short double -numbered I-35W and State Route 62 in south Minneapolis. Traffic from both highways converged here on 2×3 lanes for 1 kilometer. This was one of the most congested areas in the Twin Cities. This section was thoroughly reconstructed between 2007 and 2010 and since then consists of several lanes that have been separated. Express lanes have also been constructed. The number of lanes between the two interchanges has been doubled from 6 to 12 lanes. The situation is therefore comparable to the brief convergence of I-35W and I-94 near downtown Minneapolis. The project cost $288 million.

Express lanes

Express lanes with MnPASS have been constructed on I-35W south of downtown Minneapolis. In 2009, the HOV lane between Burnsville and Richfield was converted into an express lane. The section between Richfield and 46th Street followed in 2010, coinciding with the reconstruction of the Crosstown Commons.

In 2009-2010, a left HOT lane was constructed on I-35W between 46th Street and I-94 near downtown. A bus station was also built in the central reservation of I-35W at 46th Street. An express lane was also constructed in a southerly direction between 2017 and 2021 and the HOT lane was converted into a permanent express lane. A second bus station has also been built in the median strip at Lake Street. 9 overpasses over I-35W have also been replaced between 46th Street and I-94. The project cost $240 million and was completed on September 10, 2021. This created continuous express lanes (1 lane in each direction) between the southern suburb of Burnsville and downtown Minneapolis over a length of 23 kilometers.

Between 2019 and 2021, express lanes were built north of Minneapolis, spanning 12 miles between County Road C in Roseville and Sunset Road in Blaine. Work began in March 2019 and will last until the end of 2021. The project cost $208 million.


I-494 Interchange

The interchange with I-494 is a simple cloverleaf with no shunting lanes, like many interchanges in the Twin Cities. It is planned to rebuild this node. The exploration showed that a clover turbine is the most effective. Only one clover loop remains here (for the connection from north to east).

Traffic intensities

In 2012, 50,000 vehicles daily traveled north of the I-35E fork, rising rapidly to 109,000 vehicles on the bridge over the Minnesota River. This increases slightly further to 115,000 vehicles south of the interchange with I-494 in Bloomington. Between I-494 and SR-62, 104,000 to 107,000 vehicles and 201,000 vehicles converged with SR-62. Then follows a busy section with 172,000 to 210,000 vehicles until I-94 at Downtown Minneapolis.

The double numbering with I-94 at downtown has 260,000 vehicles, followed by 154,000 vehicles on the bridge over the Mississippi River. This then drops to 108,000 to 122,000 vehicles until SR-280, followed by a brief peak of 148,000 vehicles until the split with SR-36. Further north, 95,000 to 115,000 vehicles made their way to I-694. North of it, 121,000 to 132,000 vehicles drove up to US 10 and 83,000 vehicles north of it. Thereafter, the intensities drop steadily, reaching 40,000 vehicles when it merges with I-35E.

Lane Configuration

Van Unpleasant Lanes Comments
Exit 0 Exit 13 2×3 Bloomington
Exit 13 Exit 16A 2×4 Minneapolis
Exit 16A Exit 16B 4×3 Minneapolis
Exit 16B Exit 23 2×4 Minneapolis
Exit 23 Exit 28 2×3 Roseville
Exit 28 Exit 30 2×4 Blaine
Exit 30 Exit 42 2×2 Blaine

Interstate 35W in Minnesota