Metro Transit and other regional transit providers, including Maple Grove Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and SouthWest Transit, will resume service on Washington Avenue through the University of Minnesota campus starting Saturday.
The University of Minnesota's Campus Circulator also will return to Washington Avenue Saturday.
More than 20 bus routes making 1,200 trips a day will operate between Pleasant Street and Oak Streets just as they did prior to May 2011 when they were put on detour when construction of the Green Line began.
Buses will stop at Coffman Union on the west end of campus and at Oak Street on the east end. They will not stop at the Green Line platform at Harvard Street.
Along the Washington Avenue Transit and Pedestrian Mall, buses will share the tracks with light-rail trains between Walnut Street and Church Street, making it the only place along the line where that will occur.
Bicycles, emergency vehicles and pedestrians will be able to use the pedestrian mall, but general vehicular traffic will not.
With the return to Washington Avenue, several bus routes will have schedule changes that go into effect Saturday.
Many on the U campus are not used to seeing traffic on Washington Avenue since it has been closed to vehicular traffic for more than two years. Testing of the Green Line, the light-rail line which will run from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul, began earlier this year. With buses returning Saturday, Metro Transit officials remind students and visitors to campus to cross only in marked crosswalks and refrain from station areas that are closed.
Photo: Metro Transit
The subzero cold induced slippery spots on highways and in turn that led to numerous spin outs and crashes.
One of the most serious was on eastbound Hwy. 212 at Hwy. 101 where a rollover crash tied up traffic for nearly an hour. The right lane was blocked, and traffic backed up to Audubon Road. Many drivers opted to use Hwy. 5. That led to a tight right from Hwy. 41 to Prairie Center Drive. The lanes on Hwy. 212 reopened just before 8.
At this hour, the trouble spot is on northbound 35W in Burnsville. A stalled semi at Hwy. 13 and a crash at Cliff Road has traffic creeping along from County Road 42 past the Minnesota River bridge.
The ramp from Energy Park Drive to southbound 280 is blocked with a stalled semi.
Southbound 494, 169 and Hwy. 100 in the north metro have been tight all morning. It's still 20 to 25 minutes from 94 down to the Crosstown, but that's improving. It's been close to 40 minutes all morning.
Things have been fairly quiet along 35W this morning until now. A stalled semi is blocking the right lane at Hwy .13. Up ahead at Cliff Road, it's an accident in the left lane. Traffic is snug from County Road 42 up to the Minnesota River bridge.
A motorist must have been going to fast on the ramp from General Mills Blvd. to westbound 394. The driver slipped off the ramp and rolled over and landed in the ditch. Two other vehicles are on the right shoulder.
Ramps and bridge decks are slick, so use caution.
A vehicle landed in the ditch on northbound 494 at Bass Lake Road. That's causing a gawker slow down on the southbound side, which has heavy traffic from the Fish Lake Interchange past the scene. Plan on 23 minutes from 94 to 394.
Southbound Hwy. 100 and southbound Hwy. 169 just won't shake loose. It's still up to 30 minutes from I-94 to the Crosstown.
Northbound Hwy. 169 crams up approaching the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. There is some kind of accident or rescue in progress below the bridge.
The east and south metro are looking good with no major delays on mainline roads. Be careful on side streets and lesser-traveled roads. A motorist just slid into a bus shelter at University and Grotto Avenues in St. Paul. That shows, there are slippery spots out there.