I-494 / 34th Avenue aerial photo.

34th Avenue/I-494 Interchange

Diverging diamond interchange removes left turn arrows

Project background

Over the next 20 to 25 years, the South Loop District is predicted to accommodate 65 percent of the development growth occurring in the City. The 34th Avenue/I-494 interchange was last reconstructed in 1985 in conjunction with the revamped 494 crossing of the Minnesota River. The intersection was then modified in 2003 to accommodate the very-successful Hiawatha Light Rail (also known as the Blue Line).

In 2008, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Bloomington, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission funded a preliminary traffic study to look at the future needs and potential alterations of the interchange. The preliminary study identified the need for reconstruction to accommodate projected traffic in the South Loop District area.

Diverging diamond interchange

In 2010, various intersection alternatives were evaluated resulting in a diverging diamond interchange as the preferred intersection alternative. A DDI simplifies traffic operations at a conventional interchange by removing turning traffic from the signalized ramp intersections. This is accomplished by crossing traffic to the left side of the roadway between the signalized ramps. This allows right and left turn movements to the freeway entrance ramps to occur unopposed and without stopping. Hiawatha light rail transit will continue to run in the center median of 34th Avenue with the DDI configuration.

The project is a joint effort between the City of Bloomington, MAC, and MnDOT, with MAC as the lead agency.

How is the project funded?

The majority of the project is being funded through a Transportation Economic Development (TED) grant that was awarded in 2011. Remaining project costs are being funded by the MAC and City through a cost share agreement.


What is the project schedule?

The tentative schedule for this project is:

Completed design January 2013
Project Bid April - May 2013
Construction Begins July 2013
Project Complete November 2013

Additional Information

Diverging Diamond Interchange: I-494 & 34th Avenue

Learn how to correctly navigate a Diverging Diamond Interchange.


Throughout the project design and construction, updates will be provided via this website, the project update page listed below, through E-Subscribe.


For more information, contact:

Allen Dye, Airport Project Manager
Metropolitan Airports Commission
PH: 612-713-7492
Email: al.dye@mspmac.org

Jim Gates, Deputy Director of Public Works
PH: 952-563-8730, TTY: 952-563-8740, FAX: 952-563-4868
Email: jgates@BloomingtonMN.gov

Tom Bowlin, Civil Engineer - Transportation
1700 W. 98th Street
PH: 952-563-4914, FAX: 952-563-4868
Email: tbowlin@BloomingtonMN.gov

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