What’s Up With That Hay Bale Mound Between the I-35 Roadways?
There is some action brewing around the "can of worms" interchange where I-35 and I-535 meet ahead of a major construction project. So it probably has something to do with that, right?
Well, the Minnesota Department of Transportation must be getting that question a lot, because they answer it on the I-35, I-535, Hwy 53 Twin Ports Interchange project page.
Essentially the giant mound is a test of the soil to make sure the plan to replace the low bridges with earth fill inside retaining walls will work with the soil. This "ground improvement" section includes instruments underneath to measure any soil settlement and/or lateral displacement.
MnDOT says the use of these earth-filled ramps will require less maintenance and therefore cost less than bridges in the long term.
Preparation of I-35, I-535, Hwy 53 Twin Ports Interchange project is already underway with crews making improvements to a handful of streets, including Railroad Street, and Garfield Avenue so they are ready for the extra traffic once the Twin Ports Interchange project begins in the Spring of 2021. Construction will continue over the next couple of years.