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I-494 work will slow travel starting this month near Newport

The Interstate-494 improvements will begin this month. Courtesy of MnDOT

NEWPORT — The long-awaited lane extension on Interstate-494 is beginning this month, slowing traffic during the construction, but with the goal of breaking up commuter traffic in the long run.

The extension will stretch from Hardman Avenue from Seventh Avenue, widening and resurfacing the road as well as constructing retaining and noise walls.

Westbound I-494 will be reduced to three lanes from five during construction.

Roadwork is expected to last until fall of 2019.

The total project cost is estimated to be $18.7 million, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The project also includes replacing pavement between Hardman Avenue and Fifth Avenue, and adding an auxiliary lane between Hardman Avenue and Seventh Avenue.

Starting Aug. 7, the I-494 access from Maxwell Avenue was closed until this fall.

The detour is Bailey Road for eastbound traffic, and Lake Road for westbound traffic.

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