For the second consecutive weekend, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will shut down Interstate 35W through south Minneapolis as it continues demolition of the Franklin Avenue bridge.
MnDOT also will close the Portland Avenue bridge over Interstate 94 for eight weeks starting Friday morning.
This weekend’s freeway closure between Crosstown Hwy. 62 and I-94 in downtown Minneapolis may be a lot less disruptive than last weekend when the Vikings, Twins and Gophers all played and the Twin Cities Marathon started in downtown Minneapolis. This weekend is largely clear of big traffic events.
Both directions of I-35W will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, although for southbound motorists, on and off ramps between 46th 60th streets will remain open during the closure, allowing access to the Crosstown.
All other ramps — both northbound and southbound — will begin closing at 9 p.m. Friday, MnDOT said.
During the freeway closure, the official detour directs drivers to use I-94, I-394, Hwy. 100 and the Crosstown.
“In the Twin Cities metro area, we are dealing with a transportation system that is aging and needs significant preservation work,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle. “We regret that we will cause some Minnesotans significant inconveniences by closing the roadway this weekend. Our intent is to get the work done as quickly and as safely as we can, and get the road open again.”
Motorists thinking of using the Portland Avenue bridge over I-94 will need to head over to Chicago Avenue to cross the freeway.
MnDOT will begin working on the piers below the bridge deck at 5 a.m. Friday and will ban cars until the work is done in late November. Bicyclists and pedestrians will be allowed to cross. The bridge also will be open for ambulances and police, MnDOT said.
Both projects are part of a four-year $240 million rebuild of I-35W between 43rd Street and downtown Minneapolis.
The work includes reconstructing pavement, bridges and ramps on I-35W, adding new access ramps to the Lake Street business district and building a new transit station on the interstate median.