It's a holiday weekend for most people, but construction crews with MnDOT and Metro Transit maintenance crews will be on the job fixing roads and upgrading parts of the Blue Line. Ramps on 494 will close and a traffic switch is coming for drivers on I-35E in Eagan.
The weather should be nice and summery with warm temperatures, perfect for Independence Day and community celebrations that might draw extra folks into the city. Look for a chance of rain Saturday night or Sunday morning, meteorologist Paul Douglas says.
On the sports scene, the Minnesota Lynx host the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. Sunday at Target Center. In St. Paul, the Saints have games Saturday and Sunday with the Kansas City T-Bones at Midway Stadium. A post-game fireworks spectacular is set for Saturday night.
Blue Line Track work
Metro Transit will replace light-rail trains with buses on portions of the Blue Line Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. From 7:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday, crews will be conducting maintenance work between Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis to the Franklin Avenue Station.
On Sunday night from 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Monday, the work will extend from Target Field Station to 46th Street.
Passengers will be directed to Route 55 buses, which will travel on streets near the light-rail line. They are reminded that trips by bus will take longer than those by train, so extra time will be necessary to reach their destinations or to make connections to other bus routes.
Crews will be smoothing the tracks and making repairs to make for a better ride, agency spokesman John Siqveland said.
Riders can expect more overnight closures during July.
Penn Avenue and 35W ramps closing on 494
Sometime Friday, the barricades will go up on two ramps that allow motorists to access eastbound 494 in Bloomington.
Crews will shut down entrance ramps from Penn Avenue and from northbound and southbound I-35W to eastbound 494. They will remain closed until mid-August. The closures are necessary as crews work in the center lanes and the median between France Avenue and Lyndale Avenue, MnDOT said.
The ramp from France Avenue to eastbound 494 has reopened, so motorists can access eastbound 494 there.
A reminder to motorists heading to Terminal 2 at the MSP Airport. The ramp from westbound 494 to 34th Avenue is closed for work on the new Diverging Diamond Interchange at 34th. Drivers are being detoured via 24th Avenue and Airport Lane. A map of the affected area is located here, complete with detour information.
Traffic switch on 35E in Eagan
Beginning on Sunday, all traffic on I-35E between Cedar Avenue in Eagan and the I-35E/I-35W split in Burnsville will be shifted to the northbound side of the freeway. The head-to-head traffic will result in a single lane each direction until July 22. Currently traffic is sharing the southbound lanes.
Also on Sunday, the ramp from southbound I-35E to County Road 11 will be closed.
I-94 will return to single lane
Enjoy I-94 through St. Cloud and Clearwater while you can. As of midnight Sunday, road work resumes and traffic will return to a single lane configuration from County Road 75 to the Hwy. 24 exit at Clearwater.
All lanes were opened for the Independence Day holiday weekend. Intermittent lane closures will continue on the 7.5-mile segment through July 26.
No closures on Hwy. 169 in northwest metro
All lanes of southbound Hwy. 169 between Hwy. 55 and I-94 will be open this weekend. They have been shut down, or scheduled to be closed, for a pavement repair and resurfacing project over the past month. The weather has not always cooperated, but more weekend closures are coming.
However, this weekend, drivers get a reprive. Or course, the weather looks like it will be fine.
Highway 36 update
Motorists in Maplewood have been dealing with the closure of Hwy. 36 in both directions between Hwy. 61 and White Bear Avenue for a couple of weeks. As of last Wednesday, a few new closures have been added:
The ramp from southbound Hwy. 61 to westbound Hwy. 36 is closed and will not reopen until Aug. 1. Ahead, look for some construction from Hwy. 61 to west of the Keller Lake bridge.
Pedestrians and bicyclists will find the Bruce Vento Trail over Hwy. 36 is closed. No travel is being allowed from Cope Avenue to Gervais Avenue in Maplewood. Trail users are being rerouted via Cope Avenue, Hazelwood Street and Gervais Avenue. A trail crossing has been installed at Hwy. 36, and a temporary trail marker has been put down on Cope Avenue. The trail is scheduled to reopen on Aug. 21.
To the east, motorists on DeMontreville Trail can't access Hwy. 36 until Wednesday. Crews are completing a new J-turn at the intersection.
Minneapolis Parkway closures
It's a few days late, but the Independence Day Run will take place on Lake Harriet Pkwy. around the lake from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Plan on using alternate routes during the run.