Metro commuters know that the interchange at Interstate 494 and Highway 169 can get a bit hectic -- especially with construction, but a new flyover ramp that opened Tuesday night is expected to make a big difference.
Construction over the past two years has already changed the flow of traffic in the area, but the confusion and detours will soon come to an end for those heading south on Highway 169.
"It will be a relief to get that opened up," Kirsten Klein, of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told FOX 9 News. "It's been going on for a couple of years now, so just to have that open in the area now will help people move through the area."
Though the construction in the area won't end any time soon, the new ramp will eliminate a loop ramp connecting westbound Interstate 494 to Highway 169. A ramp from eastbound I-494 also opened overnight.
Klein said the two new ramps should increase safety in the interchange as the current cloverleaf closes.
Crews are on schedule to have the rest of the project wrapped up by the end of November. Currently, Viking Drive is still torn up near Winter Park, and the northbound flyway ramp is still in the works.
The project also includes the addition of six roundabouts -- three on the south side and three on the north side of I-494 -- as MnDOT seeks to increase traffic flow and reduce crashes.