A weekend shut down of the Metro Blue Line is on tap for the weekend in downtown Minneapolis to allow Metro Transit to work on two construction projects and conduct track maintenance.

From 7:30 p.m. Friday until 3:30 a.m. Monday, light-rail trains will not operate between Target Field and the Franklin Avenue stations. Trains will operate as normal on the rest of the line between Franklin Avenue and the Mall of America in Bloomington.

The Hiawatha Bike Trail will also be closed between 11th Avenue South and 15th Avenue South.

During the rail shutdown, buses will replace trains between Franklin Avenue and Target Field. Buses are scheduled to run at the same time intervals as light-rail trains but can take more time, said John Siqveland, a Metro Transit spokesman.

The main impetus for the shut down is construction on the new Target Field Station. Crews also will be working on the interchange where the new Green Line will split off to St. Paul and on the Nicollet Mall Station platform.

In addition, spot track maintenance and other chores such as skyway cleaning will be done.

"If we are going to have a shut down, we like to get as much done as we can," Siqveland said.

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