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Interstate 494 Descriptions


Exit numbering of Interstate 494 is unusual in that it begins at the Minnesota River heading westbound (between Mendota Heights and Bloomington), and continues clockwise around the entire beltway. The last exit is #71 to Pilot Knob Road. The most significant landmark on the length of I-494 is the Mall of America, just south of the intersection of I-494 and State Highway 77.

Legally, the route of Interstate 494 is defined as part of unmarked legislative route 393 in Minnesota Statutes § 161.12(5). Interstate 494 is not marked with this legislative number along the actual highway.


Construction on Interstate 494 first began in the late 1950s, and it was finally completed in 1985. Upgrades continue to be made to widen Interstate 494 to at least three lanes in each direction.

Expansion of the Wakota Bridge between Newport and South St. Paul over the Mississippi River was completed in the summer of 2010. The bridge is named so because it connects Washington County and Dakota County. Near the end of this effort, Interstate 494 was widened from two to three lanes between Lake Road and I-94 in Woodbury.

A major reconstruction / widening project of I-494 was completed in fall 2006 between U.S. Highway 212 / State Highway 5 in Eden Prairie and Carlson Parkway at Minnetonka / Plymouth. Plans for up to six lanes in each direction for parts of I-494 in Bloomington are proposed but not yet funded.

494 Corridor

CommissionThe 494 Corridor Commission, also known as 494 Commuter Services, is a non-profit organization aimed at reducing traffic congestion along the southwest section of the Interstate 494 corridor. In 1988, the cities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, and Richfield joined together to address traffic congestion and work towards improving I-494. The organization's mission is to promote economic growth and regional prosperity through improved transportation options along the highway, such as carpooling and bus transit. The organization's board of directors consists of representatives from each of the five member cities, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, and the private business community.


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