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September ridership on the Green Line tops 1 million

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 14, 2014 - 3:54 PM

Metro Transit provided 1.063 million rides on the Green Line during September, the highest monthly total since the 11-mile line that runs between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis began operating in June according to numbers released Tuesday by the Metropolitan Council.

The line's average weekday ridership of 37,178 was 35 percent above 2015 projections and not far below the 41,000 predicted for 2030, the council said.  The year-to-date ridership was 3,477,945 at the end of last month.

“We are thrilled the community is embracing the Green Line for all types of travel,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said. “The excitement surrounding the Green Line has obviously lasted well beyond opening weekend and will continue to build as the corridor develops in the years ahead.”

The Met Council also said ridership along the University Avenue corridor has doubled since September 2013 when buses carried 653,208. This year, buses -routes 16 and 94 - along with the Green Line ridership totaled 1,185,217 during September.

The most active stop on the Green Line was the University of Minnesota's East Bank Station with an average of 4,655 weekday boardings.

Fans attending Vikings and Gophers football games at TCF Bank Stadium have helped boost ridership, the council said. In an earlier blog post, I reported that 25 percent of Vikings fans arrived at the team's September home games by light rail.

Here are the average weekday ridership numbers for the Green Line's first three months, according to Metro Transit.:

July: 31,309
August: 33,994
September: 37,178

A quarter of Vikings fans take Green Line to the game

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 6, 2014 - 10:53 AM

Nearly 25 percent of fans who went to the Vikings' two regular season home games took the Green Line to the game.

According to Metro Transit, 12,780 fans took the new light-rail line to TCF Bank Stadium for the Vikings vs. New England game on Sept. 14 and 12,737 did so on Sept. 28 when the team hosted Atlanta.

In both cases, that represented 24 percent of all fans who went to the game. Metro Transit says each fan counts as two rides - there and back.

Meanwhile, a scant 10 percent of fans who attended the Gophers' home game on Aug. 28 against  Eastern Illinois used the Green Line.  Only 9 percent did so for the Sept. 20 home game against San Jose State, according to Metro Transit.

This weekend, Oct. 11 and 12, both the Gophers and Vikings have home games. Here are the numbers provided by Metro Transit.

Game

Date

Fans who rode to game*

Percent of attendance

Gophers

Aug. 28

4,557

10

Vikings

Sept. 14

12,780

24

Gophers

Sept. 20

4,139

9

Vikings

Sept. 28

12,737

24

Meanwhile, ridership along the 11-mile line from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis continues to soar. From Sept. 2-19, the average weekday ridership was 37,835. That is well above the 2014 projection of 26,638 riders and the 27,529 riders projected for 2015, said Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr.

From Sept. 2-19, the East Bank Station had the highest weekday ridership with an average of 5,093 rides. The U's West Bank station had the fourth highest ridership on the lin ewith 2,445 rides. The stop at Stadium Village has 1,733 riders.

In comparison, the highest number of weekday boardings on the Blue Line during the same period was at Terminal 2-Humphrey with an average of 3,041.

Weekend traffic: Hwy. 169 lane restrictions, Kellogg Blvd. bridge closure and Vikings

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: September 27, 2014 - 12:09 PM

While no major freeway closings are on tap for the weekend, MnDOT will be reconfiguring Hwy. 169 over the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, which will have traffic in both directions down to a single lane in each direction. Naturally, there are plenty of other projects that could affect your travels in the metro area.

The weather should cooperate for outdoor activities, which include the Vikings game against the high-flying Atlanta Falcons. The kickoff  is at 3:25 p.m. Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. For those heading to the game, here's parking and transit info.

Also on tap is the National Alliance on Mental Illness walk Saturday at Minnehaha Park, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Saturday Target Field and the last weekend of the Renaissance Festival.

The Wild have a preseason game at the X in downtown St. Paul with the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night. Note: The Kellogg Blvd. bridge will be out of commission until Monday when it will reopen with fewer traffic lanes. Inspectors found deficiencies in the structure rendering the outside lanes unusable.

And here's something that doesn't happen every day. They're going to wash windows of a high rise on Dean Pkwy. in Minneapolis and close the road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from Lake Street to the Mid-Town Greenway bridge.---THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. 

Here is an update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation: The eastbound I-694 ramp to southbound I-35E in Little Canada is open and will not be closing this weekend.

Here's a list of roads that are closed for the weekend and beyond.

Hwy 169 in Shakopee and Bloomington

As I reported on the blog Wednesday, MnDOT is taking away the extra lanes that were added in June to help traffic flow when spring floods forced the closure of the Hwy. 101 and 41 crossings over the Minnesota River. That greatly increased traffic volume on Hwy. 169 until the reopened.

With the extra traffic, MnDOT reconfigured the highway between Hwy. 101 and Old Shakopee Road to handle the influx. With winter coming, MnDOT needs the shoulders for snow storage and to restore lanes to their normal width.

While crews repaint, northbound traffic will be a single lane between County Road 18 in Shakopee and Pioneer Trail in Bloomington from 4 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Southbound lanes will be single file from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, and then again Sunday evening until 5 a.m. Monday.

I-35W and University Avenue/4th Street ramp near the U of M

Construction on northbound I-35W between the University Avenue/4th Street exit and Johnson Street continues. Prepare for slow traffic in the area as motorists navigate lane shifts and periodic lane closures.

Here are some of the impacts that remain:

  • Northbound I-35W between Washington Avenue and Hennepin Avenue will have periodic lane closures.
  • The three lanes of northbound I-35W between University Ave Northeast and the Johnson Street exit will remain open for the majority of the project, but will shift toward the center median.
  • The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit from northbound I-35W is closed. Motorists should use the Johnson Street exit. The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit will be closed permanently as crews reconfigure the Johnson Street ramp to serve Johnson Street, New Brighton Boulevard and Stinson Boulevard.
  • 4th Street South between the southbound I-35W/eastbound Hwy 55 entrance ramp and Washington Avenue will be closed through late September.

4th Street in downtown Minneapolis

This street closed from I-35W to Washington/Cedar Avenue until late September as crews reconstruct the road and new turn lanes for northbound I-35W entrance ramp.. Drivers can still get onto southbound 35W, but those heading to the University of Minnesota will need to follow this detour: Northbound on Park Avenue, then right on Washington Avenue to Cedar Avenue.

12th Avenue bridge over 494 in Bloomington

Work began earlier this week on fixing the bridge. Repairs will continue through Oct. 10. Here's the recommended detours:

Southbound drivers will detoured to westbound 77th Street, then south on Portland Avenue and east on American Blvd.
Northbound traffic will be detoured to westbound American Boulevard, then north on Portland Avenue and east on 77th Street.

94th Street bridge over I-35W in Bloomington

The ramps to and from I-35W to 94th are back open, but the bridge over the freeway will be under construction for another month.

Brooklyn Boulevard Bridge over Hwy 100

The County Road 152/Brooklyn Boulevard bridge is closed to motorists and pedestrians through late October. A new bridge deck is being built.

I-35E in St. Paul

The ramp from westbound 94 to northbound 35E opened last week, and that has made getting through St. Paul a tad easier. But we still have a lot of construction just north of downtown. Here is what is still shut down:

  • Little Canada Road to southbound I-35E
  • Southbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to southbound I-35E
  • Roselawn Avenue to southbound I-35E
  • Maryland Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Roselawn Avenue
  • Roselawn Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to westbound Highway 36
  • Northbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Little Canada Road

One other note: The ramp from southbound I-35E to southbound Hwy 52 will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday

Hwy 61 in White Bear Lake

Hwy 61 between White Bear Avenue and north of Hwy 96 is reduced to a single lane. There are multiple streets that are closed where they intersect with Hwy 61.

Hwy. 77/Cedar Avenue in Bloomington

Various lanes will be closed and shifted near the Mall of America and I-494, so watch the signs.  Additionally, northbound ramps to and from I-494 are closed through mid-October. Detour signs will be posted, but here they are:

  • Eastbound I-494 to northbound Hwy 77 detour: Use northbound 34th Street and westbound I-494.
  • Northbound Hwy 77 to westbound I-494 detour: Use the I-494/Hwy 5 west exit that is located one-half mile south of the I-494/Hwy 77 interchange.

Hwys. 149 and 55 in Eagan

The section of highway between Lone Oak Road and the north intersection of  Hwy. 149 will have alternating lane closures through November. That means single lane in each direction. Also in the area, Hwy. 149 will be single lane between I-494 and Hwy. 55.

Kellogg Blvd. bridge in St. Paul

The bridge will close at 9 a.m. Friday. Public Works crews will use this time to restripe the bridge, put up new signage and other traffic devices. Signal timing also will be modified, the City said.

It will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday with traffic restricted to three lanes with a narrower path for pedestrians and cyclists to share.

Hwy 101 and County Road 144 in Rogers

Lane closures; Northbound to eastbound County Road 144 is closed; westbound County Road 144 to northbound Hwy 101 is closed; County Road 144 is closed between James Road and the Hwy 101 construction; Hwy 101 between South Diamond Lake Road and 147th Street is single lane.  Here is a heads up: New northbound lanes of Hwy. 101 opened this week, so don't rely on muscle memory to navigate the area.

Hwy. 36 in east metro

This long-running project has the road down to a single lane through Oak Park Heights and Stillwater from Hwy. 5 to Hwy. 95.

Hwy. 55 in Golden Valley

A CenterPoint Energy utility reconstruction project is scheduled to start Thursday, Sept 25 in Golden Valley along Winnetka Ave between Harold Ave and Golden Valley Rd. The three- to six-week project will have a significant impact on traffic due to lane shifts and closures, but full access will be maintained to all businesses and residents. Detours will be set up to encourage through-traffic to use Wisconsin Ave or Rhode Island Ave for Hwy 55 access

Southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13

The southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13 is closed through late fall as part of a Dakota County project. 

I-494 in Plymouth

MnDOT is widening bridges between and other work ahead of a freeway expansion project that will bring a third lane in each direction between Hwy. 55 and Bass Lake Road. Night and weekend lane shifts and closures on I-494 can be expected through November as crews remove the guardrails to reconstruct the road shoulders.

Weekend traffic: I-494 closure, Green Line track work, Vikings home opener

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: September 12, 2014 - 12:58 PM

For the second straight weekend, a section of I-494 near Cedar Avenue will be closed for bridge work, but this time around the shut down won't last all weekend. Work will take place in the overnight hours Friday into Saturday morning.

That's good news for those heading to the Vikings game against the New England Patriots at noon Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

Maintenance work on the electrical lines along the Green Line will be completed before Sunday's game. But riders on Friday and Saturday nights will be shuttled along in buses when trains are not running on Friday and Saturday nights.

Another edition of Minneapolis Open Streets will bring food, fun and frivolity to Nicollet Avenue between Lake and 46th Streets on Sunday afternoon.

And while it feels fallish out there, summer road construction season rolls on with a number of closures, detours and lane restrictions.  Here is your weekend guide to getting around the metro.

Vikings game

Fans who attended one of the team's two home pre-season games probably have their parking and transit routines down. For those making their first visit to the U, here are some parking tips from the Vikings. Plan ahead as roads around the U will be most crowded about 2 hours prior to kickoff and 90 minutes following the game.

The U has plans in place to get fans on and off campus as efficiently as possible, but officials recommend taking transit to the game.

A number of Metro Transit bus routes connect to the Green Line. Blue Line riders can transfer to the Green Line at the Downtown East Station.  Green Line trains stop right across the street from the stadium at Stadium Village. A reader suggests getting off at the East Bank Station and walking a couple blocks to avoid the throngs near the stadium.

Northstar trains will operate for Sunday's game. Here is a schedule.

Which ever stop you use, buy a 6-hour event pass to avoid standing in line at the vending machine after the game.

Green Line track work

Xcel Energy will be working on the overhead power lines Friday and Saturday. While maintenance is being done, passengers will be whisked along in buses that will run along University Avenue. Here is when Green Line trains Line won't run and buses will:

  • 7 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Saturday between Union Depot Station and Snelling Avenue Station.
  • 7 p.m. Saturday,through 3 a.m. Sunday between Snelling Avenue Station and Downtown East Station.

This reminder from Metro Transit: Replacement buses will operate on a similar schedule as trains but can take more time. Customers are encouraged to plan ahead. 

I-494 closure in Bloomington

MnDOT will shut down both directions of I-494 at Cedar Avenue from 10 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday. It's related to the replacement of the Cedar Avenue overpass. There will be two additional overnight closures of I-494 in October, eastbound and westbound I-494 will close on separate nights. For this weekend, here's what you need to know:

Detour: Westbound traffic will be sent north on Cedar to west Crosstown and then south on I-35W.  Eastbound will be detoured to south Cedar to east Hwy. 13 and back north on Cedar to 494.

Hwy. 52/Lafayette Bridge closure in St. Paul

Crews will be installing an anti-icing system on the new northbound bridge and move barricades around to create more room for trucks accessing southbound Hwy. 52 from E. 7th Street. Pavement striping also will take place during the closure.

The northbound lanes will be closed from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday from Concord Street to E. 7th Street. Detour: Go east on Concord to east I-494, then north on Hwy. 61 to reach I-94.

The southbound lanes will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Detour: Use the Mounds Blvd. ramps to access eastbound 94, the go south on Hwy. 61 and west on I-494 to reach Hwy. 52.

Cedar Avenue near the Mall of America

Mall of America shoppers and those passing by on Cedar Avenue will need to be on alert for traffic switches, narrow lanes and construction between 66th Street and Old Shakopee Road.

The ramps from eastbound I-494 to northbound Cedar Avenue and the northbound Cedar Avenue to westbound I-494 will be closed through mid-October.

Motorists on eastbound I-494 who need to access northbound Cedar Avenue will be detoured to northbound 34th Street and back west on I-494.  Northbound Cedar drivers needing to go west on I-494 should use the west I-494/Hwy. 5 exit one-half mile to the south. Detour signs will be posted, MnDOT says.

I-35E in St. Paul

The ramp from westbound 94 to northbound 35E opened last week, and that has made getting through St. Paul a tad easier. But we still have a lot of construction just north of downtown. Here is what is still shut down:

  • Little Canada Road to southbound I-35E
  • Southbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to southbound I-35E
  • Roselawn Avenue to southbound I-35E
  • Maryland Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Roselawn Avenue
  • Roselawn Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to westbound Highway 36
  • Northbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Little Canada Road

Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park

MnDOT is working on the W. 36th Street Bridge over Hwy. 100, and some lanes on Hwy. 100 between Excelsior Blvd. and Minnetonka Blvd. will be shut down starting at 7 p.m. Friday. That will definitely impact traffic. If you are in a hurry, use Hwy. 169 as your north-south route.

Here's the schedule for tonight:

  • At 7 p.m. both directions of Hwy 100 between Minnetonka Boulevard and Excelsior Boulevard will be reduced to two lanes.
  • At 9 p.m. both directions of Hwy 100 between Minnetonka Boulevard and Excelsior Boulevard will be reduced to a single lane.
  • From 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Hwy 100 between Minnetonka Boulevard will be completely closed.
  • From 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. both directions of Hwy 100 between Minnetonka Boulevard and Excelsior Boulevard will reopen to a single lane.

Here is the drill for Saturday night into Sunday morning: Both directions will be reduced to two lanes at 7 p.m. and to a single lane from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In addition. W. 36th Street between Park Center Boulevard and Xenwood Avenue has been reduced to one lane in each direction Crews will work on one side of the bridge while motorists travel on the opposite side. Plan on that to be in place for a month.

I-35W and University Avenue/4th Street ramp near the U of M

Construction on northbound I-35W between the University Avenue/4th Street exit and Johnson Street continues. Prepare for slow traffic in the area as motorists navigate lane shifts and periodic lane closures.

Here are some of the impacts that remain:

  • Northbound I-35W between Washington Avenue and Hennepin Avenue will have periodic lane closures.
  • The three lanes of northbound I-35W between University Ave Northeast and the Johnson Street exit will remain open for the majority of the project, but will shift toward the center median.
  • The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit from northbound I-35W is closed. Motorists should use the Johnson Street exit. The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit will be closed permanently as crews reconfigure the Johnson Street ramp to serve Johnson Street, New Brighton Boulevard and Stinson Boulevard.
  • 4th Street South between the southbound I-35W/eastbound Hwy 55 entrance ramp and Washington Avenue will be closed through late September.

4th Street in downtown Minneapolis

This street closed from I-35W to Washington/Cedar Avenue until late September as crews reconstruct the road and new turn lanes for northbound I-35W entrance ramp.. Drivers can still get onto southbound 35W, but those heading to the University of Minnesota will need to follow this detour: Northbound on Park Avenue, then right on Washington Avenue to Cedar Avenue.

The flyover bridge from northbound 35W to 3rd Street and downtown Minneapolis also is closed and will be until Sept. 23. The detour is to use Washington Avenue to Chicago Avenue, then back to 3rd Street.

Hwys. 149 and 55 in Eagan

The section of highway between Lone Oak Road and the north intersection of  Hwy. 149 will have alternating lane closures through November. That means single lane in each direction. Also in the area, Hwy. 149 will be single lane between I-494 and Hwy. 55.

Here is a traffic change that goes into effect Friday. Lone Oak Pkwy. at Hwy. 149 reopens. On Saturday, Northeast Pkwy. at Hwy. 149 closes. Motorists should follow the signed detour to use Lone Oak Parkway to bypass the closure.

Northbound Hwy 65 in Fridley, Spring Lake Park

Northbound Hwy 65 between Medtronic Parkway/Old Central Avenue and County Road 10 is closed and detoured.

Brooklyn Boulevard Bridge over Hwy 100

The County Road 152/Brooklyn Boulevard Bridge is closed to motorists and pedestrians through mid-October.

Hwy 61 in White Bear Lake

Hwy 61 between White Bear Avenue and north of Hwy 96 is reduced to a single lane. There are multiple streets that are closed where they intersect with Hwy 61.

Hwy 101 and County Road 144 in Rogers

Lane closures; Northbound to eastbound County Road 144 is closed; westbound County Road 144 to northbound Hwy 101 is closed; County Road 144 is closed between James Road and the Hwy 101 construction; Hwy 101 between South Diamond Lake Road and 147th Street is single lane.  Here is a heads up: On Wednesday, a traffic shift will occur when MnDOT opens one of the new northbound lanes of Hwy. 101.

Southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13

The southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13 is closed through late fall as part of a Dakota County project.  Also look for lanes on 35W to be closed for a few hours Saturday morning as crew make guard rail repairs between the Minnesota River bridge and 106th Street.

County Road 61/Flying Cloud Drive in Chaska

Look for flaggers and construction in the vicinity of County 61/Flying Cloud Drive and the intersection of Hwy. 101.

In addition, both directions of County Road 61 will close east of Great Plains Blvd. at Bluff Creek. Motorists traveling west on County 61 will not have access to the Hwy. 101 bridge into Shakopee. The bridge itself will be open to traffic between Shakopee and Eden Prairie.

94th Street Bridge over I-35W in Bloomington

The 94th Street bridge over I-35W in Bloomington is closed through mid-October. Ramps to and from northbound 94th are expected to be back open by Friday evening, MnDOT says. The southbound I-35W ramps to and from 94th Street will remain closed through mid-September

Hwy. 169 in Edina

The northbound lanes are closed from I-494 to Bren Road. Detour: Westbound I-494 to eastbound I-394 or eastbound I-494 to northbound Hwy. 100, then west on I-394.

I-494 in Plymouth

MnDOT is widening bridges between and other work ahead of a freeway expansion project that will bring a third lane in each direction between Hwy. 55 and Bass Lake Road. Night and weekend lane shifts and closures on I-494 can be expected through November as crews remove the guardrails to reconstruct the road shoulders.

Hwy. 36 in east metro

This long-running project has the road down to a single lane through Oak Park Heights and Stillwater from Hwy. 5 to Hwy. 95.

I-694 ramp to southbound 35E in Little Canada

The exit ramp is closed. Road maintenance work is in progress. Expect delays through the completion of the project set for Sept. 19.

Traffic will detour east on I-694 to Hwy. 61 and use the loops to return westbound to southbound I-35E.

Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park

Be cautious as you pass through the bridge reconstruction zone at Louisiana Avenue. Traffic has been switched to the new Hwy. 7 bridge and a few changes recently went into effect.

  • The ramp from westbound Hwy 7 to northbound Louisiana Avenue is open.
  • Walker Street is open east of Louisiana Avenue and closed west of Louisiana Avenue.
  • Lake Street is open east of Louisiana Avenue and closed west of Louisiana Avenue. The exit off of Hwy. 7 is closed indefinitely.
  • Louisiana Avenue will be one lane in each direction through the duration of this project.

Here are a few detours that are still in effect: To go from eastbound Hwy. 7 to northbound Louisiana Avenue, use northbound Texas Avenue to eastbound Minnetonka Blvd.  To go southbound on Louisiana Avenue from Hwy 7, take southbound Blake Road to eastbound Excelsior Avenue.

Also look out for road work near County 19 in Excelsior. That will affect eastbound motorists the most.

Hwy. 5 in Waconia

Lanes are narrower than normal, so wide loads will need to avoid the area. No vehicles wider than 11 feet will be permitted until Sept. 15 at County Roads 51 and 151.  County 51 to the south and 151 to the north is closed at highway 5. Follow detour signs.

Minneapolis Parkways

Root on the runners participating in the Mill City Suds Run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. They take over Main Street from 6th Avenue to Hennepin Aveneu and West River Parkway from Portland to Plymouth Avenues.

Starting and finishing at Boom Island, the annual Minneapolis Bike Tour takes place on Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to roughly 2 p.m. Bicyclists will pedal 16-, 25- or 32-miles along parkways that will be closed to motorized traffic.

The affected parkways include: West River, Nokomis, Minnehaha, Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Theodore Wirth, Webber, Victory Memorial, St Anthony and William Berry Parkway. Each road section will open as the last biker rides through, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board said.

Weekend traffic: Part of I-494 closed in Bloomington

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: September 4, 2014 - 1:30 PM

The biggest travel disruption of the weekend will be in Bloomington where a short segment of I-494 at Cedar Avenue will be closed Friday night through Monday morning.

It's one of several road construction projects that motorists will encounter while moving around the metro area.

Roads around Minnehaha Park will be closed Saturday for the Monarch Festival, which celebrates butterflies and serves up activities with the flavor of Mexico. The Renaissance Festival continues Saturday and Sunday, so look for extra traffic on Hwy. 169 in Shakopee.

Meanwhile, the Twins are home Thursday through Sunday against the Anaheim Angels at Target Field and the University of Minnesota football team has a home game against Middle Tennessee State at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Traffic will be heaviest around the U from 11 a.m. until kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and in the hour or so after the game. University officials say drivers should anticipate congestion and delays while traveling to and around campus. Carpooling and alternate methods (transit, bike, walk) are highly recommended.

Here is a link to parking information if you choose to drive. If transit is your option, the Green Line stops at Stadium Village, right across from the stadium. Several bus routes also stop near the stadium. Metro Transit Northstar Trains will run on their normal weekend and Twins schedule.

SouthWest Transit will run express service from stations in Chaska, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie.The fare is $5. Here is the schedule.

Here is your guide to this weekend's road work

MnDOT will be tearing down the northbound Cedar Avenue bridge over I-494, and to do so the agency will close 494 in both directions at Cedar from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

During the closure, westbound traffic will be diverted onto northbound Cedar Avenue to the Crosstown, then west on Crosstown to I-35W, then south back to 494.

Eastbound traffic will be sent north on I-35W to the Crosstown, then east on Crosstown to Hwy. 55 to westbound Hwy. 5, then back east on I-494.

One eastbound lane will remain open for motorists who need to access Lyndale, Nicollet and Portland Avenues. MnDOT warns that extra time will be needed as lanes could be closed at times. A suggestion would be for drivers to use 35W south and get off at 82nd St, then head east. 

Cedar Avenue near the Mall of America

Mall of America shoppers and those passing by on Cedar Avenue will need to be on alert for traffic switches, narrow lanes and construction between 66th Street and Old Shakopee Road.

The ramps from eastbound I-494 to northbound Cedar Avenue and the northbound Cedar Avenue to westbound I-494 will be closed through mid-October.

Motorists on eastbound I-494 who need to access northbound Cedar Avenue will be detoured to northbound 34th Street and back west on I-494.  Northbound Cedar drivers needing to go west on I-494 should use the west I-494/Hwy. 5 exit one-half mile to the south. Detour signs will be posted, MnDOT says.

I-35E in St. Paul

The ramp from westbound 94 to northbound 35E opened this week, and that has made getting through St. Paul a tad easier. But look out for a new closure south of downtown on Saturday and Sunday. The freeway will be reduced to a single lane between Randolph Avenue and Victoria Street as MnDOT does bridge maintenance. Most of the alternating lane closures will be between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., but sometimes work does run longer.

North of downtown, reconstruction of 35E continues, and so do the numerous ramp closures that have been in place for the past few months. Here is a list:

  • Little Canada Road to southbound I-35E
  • Southbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to southbound I-35E
  • Roselawn Avenue to southbound I-35E
  • Maryland Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Roselawn Avenue
  • Roselawn Avenue to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to westbound Highway 36
  • Northbound I-35E to eastbound Highway 36
  • Westbound and eastbound Highway 36 to northbound I-35E
  • Northbound I-35E to Little Canada Road

And now for something that actually opening.  Phalen Boulevard/Pennsylvania Avenue will reopen at Interstate 35E by the end of the day Friday, MnDOT says. During its closure, crews lowered a portion of Phalen Boulevard/Pennsylvania Avenue to avoid future height restrictions with new I-35E overpasses.

After reopening to traffic, Phalen Boulevard/Pennsylvania Avenue will remain a single lane in each direction at I-35E through late 2015 for ongoing bridge construction.

Hwy. 100 and W. 36th Street in St. Louis Park

The first signs of a planned rebuild of Hwy. 100 through St. Louis Park will show up this weekend, although they won't be all that noticeable. Crews will start getting ready for a resurfacing project on the W. 36th Street bridge that begins Monday. This weekend they'll be removing medians on both ends of the bridge, so drivers should expect some off-peak, temporary lane restrictions.

Starting Monday, W. 36th Street between Park Center Boulevard and Xenwood Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction Crews will work on one side of the bridge while motorists travel on the opposite side. Plan on that to be in place for a month.

No lanes on Hwy. 100 will affected. However, motorists should be on the lookout for slow traffic caused by heavy equipment and trucks moving around in the area.

I-35W and University Avenue/4th Street ramp near the U of M

Construction on northbound I-35W between the University Avenue/4th Street exit and Johnson Street continues. Prepare for slow traffic in the area as motorists navigate lane shifts and periodic lane closures.

Here are some of the impacts that remain:

  • Northbound I-35W between Washington Avenue and Hennepin Avenue will have periodic lane closures.
  • The three lanes of northbound I-35W between University Ave Northeast and the Johnson Street exit will remain open for the majority of the project, but will shift toward the center median.
  • The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit from northbound I-35W is closed. Motorists should use the Johnson Street exit. The New Brighton Boulevard/Stinson Boulevard exit will be closed permanently as crews reconfigure the Johnson Street ramp to serve Johnson Street, New Brighton Boulevard and Stinson Boulevard.
  • 4th Street South between the southbound I-35W/eastbound Hwy 55 entrance ramp and Washington Avenue will be closed through late September.

4th Street in downtown Minneapolis

This street closed from I-35W to Washington/Cedar Avenue until late September as crews reconstruct the road and new turn lanes for northbound I-35W entrance ramp.. Drivers can still get onto southbound 35W, but those heading to the University of Minnesota will need to follow this detour: Northbound on Park Avenue, then right on Washington Avenue to Cedar Avenue.

The flyover bridge from northbound 35W to 3rd Street and downtown Minneapolis also is closed and will be until Sept. 23. The detour is to use Washington Avenue to Chicago Avenue, then back to 3rd Street.

Hwys. 149 and 55 in Eagan

The section of highway between Lone Oak Road and the north intersection of  Hwy. 149 will have alternating lane closures through November. That means single lane in each direction.

Also in the area, Hwy. 149 will be single lane between I-494 and Hwy. 55.

Northbound Hwy 65 in Fridley, Spring Lake Park

Northbound Hwy 65 between Medtronic Parkway/Old Central Avenue and County Road 10 is closed and detoured.

Brooklyn Boulevard Bridge over Hwy 100

The County Road 152/Brooklyn Boulevard Bridge is closed to motorists and pedestrians through mid-October.

Hwy 61 in White Bear Lake

Hwy 61 between White Bear Avenue and north of Hwy 96 is reduced to a single lane. There are multiple streets that are closed where they intersect with Hwy 61.

Hwy 101 and County Road 144 in Rogers

Lane closures; Northbound to eastbound County Road 144 is closed; westbound County Road 144 to northbound Hwy 101 is closed; County Road 144 is closed between James Road and the Hwy 101 construction; Hwy 101 between South Diamond Lake Road and 147th Street is single lane.

Southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13

The southbound I-35W ramp to westbound Hwy 13 is closed through late fall as part of a Dakota County project.

County Road 61/Flying Cloud Drive in Chaska

Look for flaggers and construction in the vicinity of County 61/Flying Cloud Drive and the intersection of Hwy. 101.

In addition, both directions of County Road 61 will close east of Great Plains Blvd. at Bluff Creek. Motorists traveling west on County 61 will not have access to the Hwy. 101 bridge into Shakopee. The bridge itself will be open to traffic between Shakopee and Eden Prairie.

94th Street Bridge over I-35W in Bloomington

The 94th Street bridge over I-35W in Bloomington is closed through mid-October. Ramps to and from northbound 94th are expected to be back open by Friday evening, MnDOT says. The southbound I-35W ramps to and from 94th Street will remain closed through mid-September

Hwy. 169 in Edina

The northbound lanes are closed from I-494 to Bren Road. Detour: Westbound I-494 to eastbound I-394 or eastbound I-494 to northbound Hwy. 100, then west on I-394.

I-494 in Plymouth

MnDOT is widening bridges between and other work ahead of a freeway expansion project that will bring a third lane in each direction between Hwy. 55 and Bass Lake Road. The northbound lanes at the Canadian Pacific Rail will be reduced to a single lane so crews can widen the bridge. Night and weekend lane shifts on I-494 can be expected through November as crews remove the guardrails to reconstruct the road shoulders.

Hwy. 36 in east metro

This long-running project has the road down to a single lane through Oak Park Heights and Stillwater from Hwy. 5 to Hwy. 95.

I-694 ramp to southbound 35E in Little Canada

The exit ramp is closed. Road maintenance work is in progress. Expect delays through the completion of the project set for Sept. 19.

Traffic will detour east on I-694 to Hwy. 61 and use the loops to return westbound to southbound I-35E.

Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park

Be cautious as you pass through the bridge reconstruction zone at Louisiana Avenue. Traffic has been switched to the new Hwy. 7 bridge and a few changes recently went into effect.

  • The ramp from westbound Hwy 7 to northbound Louisiana Avenue is open.
  • Walker Street is open east of Louisiana Avenue and closed west of Louisiana Avenue.
  • Lake Street is open east of Louisiana Avenue and closed west of Louisiana Avenue. The exit off of Hwy. 7 is closed indefinitely.
  • Louisiana Avenue will be one lane in each direction through the duration of this project.

Here are a few detours that are still in effect: To go from eastbound Hwy. 7 to northbound Louisiana Avenue, use northbound Texas Avenue to eastbound Minnetonka Blvd.  To go southbound on Louisiana Avenue from Hwy 7, take southbound Blake Road to eastbound Excelsior Avenue.

Hwy. 5 in Waconia

Lanes are narrower than normal, so wide loads will need to avoid the area. No vehicles wider than 11 feet will be permitted until Sept. 15 at County Roads 51 and 151.  County 51 to the south and 151 to the north is closed at highway 5. Follow detour signs.

Hwy. 55 between Rockford and Buffalo

Motorists will encounter overnight delays on Hwy. 55 between Rockford and Buffalo as lanes close and flaggers hold traffic for up to 20 minutes at a time Thursday through Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning.

Flaggers and a pilot car will allow one-way, alternating traffic through each night’s work zone. Drivers entering a work zone from roads or driveways that intersect Highway 55 must wait for the pilot car to pass, then follow it through the work zone

Minneapolis Parkways

The MDRA City of Lakes 25K takes place from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, affecting parkways surrounding Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.

On Saturday, the Monarch Festival with Aztec Dance, puppets from the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and spicy music and food takes over Lake Nokomis Pkwy. and part of Minnehaha Pkwy from 42nd to 50th Streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  The epicenter of activity will be at Woodlawn Blvd and 49th Street.

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