The Drive will keep you up to speed with the latest on Twin Cities commuting.

7 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 24, 2015 - 7:01 AM

As we hit what typically is the beginning of the peak of the rush, there are just a few spots are seeing some crowding. Expect speeds to drop heading into the work zone on Hwy. 100 between Excelsor Blvd. and Cedar Lake Road.

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 down to Cedar Lake Road is also starting to fill up, but travel times are still decent.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 15 minutes

Southbound 35E from County 96 to I-94: 11 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 12 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 10 minutes. Eastbound is 10 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 9 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 7 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 9 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 to Crosstown: 19 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 14 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 10 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 16 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 9 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 18 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 7 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Dell Road to Crosstown: 4 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 6 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 4 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 8 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 8 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 11 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 8 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 6 minutes.

Weekend traffic: Wild hockey, Get in Gear races and road construction

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 24, 2015 - 3:46 PM

The biggest traffic-generating event of the weekend by far will be the Wild's home playoff game against St. Louis Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. The Swarm have a home lacrosse match Saturday at the X.

A reminder that Kellogg Blvd. between Market and Wabasha Streets is closed until this fall, but access to the RiverCentre parking ramp is still available.

Look for extra traffic around the Mall of America in Bloomington where the March for Babies Walk takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday.  And the USA Volleyball Junior National Qualifying tournament at the Convention Center will bring extra vehicles to downtown Minneapolis.

The Get in Gear 5K, 10K and half marathon races will bring lots of folks to Minnehaha Park in south Minneapolis. West River Parkway will be closed from Minnehaha Pkwy. to Lake Street on the in Minneapolis.  On the St. Paul side of the river, look for closures of Mississippi River Blvd. south of Marshall Avenue down to Hwy. 5, and on Shepard Road to near Rankin Street.

With construction on Minnehaha Avenue, participants and spectators are encouraged to park at the VA Medical Center and take a shuttle to the Minnehaha Park. 

Track work will impact Sunday travel on the Northstar line, Metro Transit said. See posting below.

Road Construction

Hwy. 5/W. 7th Street

The bridge over the Mississippi River is being redecked, and that has traffic operating on one side the current bridge. With lane closures in place from Ft. Snelling up to near Shepard Road, expect backups along W. 7th Street and onto the Mendota Bridge.  We saw that occur during this week's morning and afternoon rush hours.  Expect to add extra time if this is your route to the airport. 

Other ramps and roads in the immediate area of the Mississippi River bridge also are closed.

Hwy. 100 through St. Louis Park

The good news is that no major changes are in store for the weekend, and Hwy. 100 will be three lanes in each direction between Cedar Lake Road and Excelsior Blvd. Bigger changes will take effect next week, so that talk about taking the highway down to two lanes in each direction will happen.

MnDOT also said this week will postpone closing the Westside Drive until further notice. The exit will be signed local businesses only, but there will not be barriers that prevent people from continuing south on the frontage road. MnDOT originally said it would put up barriers to keep motorists from exiting Hwy. 100 and cutting through the neighborhood to escape the bottleneck on Hwy. 100.

In addition to the Minnetonka Blvd. bridge over Hwy. 100, the following ramps in the area are closed until October:

  • Minnetonka Boulevard to southbound Hwy 100
  • Minnetonka Boulevard to northbound Hwy 100
  • Northbound Hwy 100 to Minnetonka Boulevard closed.
  • 27th Street to southbound Hwy 100
  • Southbound Hwy 100 ramp to Minnetonka Boulevard
  • Hwy. 7 to northbound Hwy. 100

I-494 in Plymouth and Maple Grove

The rebuilding of I-494 from the Fish Lake Interchange down to Hwy. 55 continues. Two northbound lanes will be open and one southbound lane open Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.  That's when MnDOT will slide the moveable barrier over to create a second southbound lane to accommodate folks returning from out of town. From Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon, northbound traffic will be restricted to one lane.

In the same area, Hennepin County Road 47 between Yucca Lane and Teakwood Lane will be closed to traffic until late May. The closure is needed while crews reconstruct the southbound side of I-494 over County Road 47. 

Here is the detour: 

  • Westbound traffic on County Road 47 will be detoured to northbound Northwest Boulevard and westbound Bass Lake Road.
  • Eastbound traffic on County Road 47 will be detoured to northbound County Road 101/Brockton Lane and eastbound Bass Lake Road.

Fourth Street in downtown Minneapolis

A one-block segment of 4th Street between Portland and Park Avenues is closed. The closure will be in place until June, according to Minneapolis city officials.

Traffic will be detoured south on Portland Avenue to 6th Street, east on 6th to Park Avenue then north on Park back to 4th Street.  The bike lane also will be closed.

For commuters looking to access I-35W, rather than taking the six-block detour, it might be easier to just scoot over to Washington Avenue or use 4th Avenue S.  For drivers looking to get on westbound I-94, it might be just as easy to hit 3rd Street and leave on the west end of downtown.

I-35W in northeast Minneapolis

Delays are certainly possible on northbound I-35W between University Avenue and NE. Johnson Street. The freeway will go down to two lanes at 8 p.m. and a single lane at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, a second lane will reopen at 6 a.m.  The freeway will be have two lanes open until 2 p.m. During this time, the ramp to Hennepin Avenue will be closed. MnDOT will be doing concrete work.

Motorists intending to exit northbound I-35W at Hennepin Avenue will be detoured northbound to the Johnson Street exit and southbound on Stinson Boulevard.

Hwy. 52 south of the metro

Prepare for delays on both directions of Hwy. 52 between Hwy. 55 and 160th Street in Coates. Construction will have the southbound lanes closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and northbound lanes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This should wrap up by Tuesday.

West River Parkway in Minneapolis

In addition to the closure for the Get in Gear races (see above), West River Parkway is closed between 26th Street and 29th Street for repairs necessary due to last summer's mudslide.

Minnehaha Avenue and 46th Street in Minneapolis

Construction has 46th Street down to one lane in each direction between Snelling Avenue and 42nd Avenue with traffic operating on the south side of the road.

Minnehaha Avenue is closed between Godfrey Parkway/Minnehaha Parkway and 42nd Street. Cross streets at Godfrey Parkway/Minnehaha Parkway, 46th Street, and 42nd Street will remain open at all times during the first phase of construction. Cross streets at 43rd Street, 44th Street, and 45th Street will be closed at Minnehaha Avenue for short periods (up to 10 days).

Foley Blvd. in Coon Rapids

Anoka County is rebuilding Foley Boulevard from 101st Avenue NW to Egret Boulevard NW. Traffic as of Friday is now a single lane in each direction. This project includes storm sewer upgrades, concrete median, signal installation at 102nd Lane NW and bituminous & concrete sidewalks. 

Foley also is closed through April 30 at the BNSF railroad crossing between East River Pkwy. and Coon Rapids Blvd. The detour has motorists using East River Pkwy., 85th Avenue NW., Springbrook Drive and Coon Rapids Blvd.

Northstar line

BNSF railway will be doing track maintenance on Sunday between Coon Rapids and Fridley, and Metro Transit says regularly-scheduled trips could see delays of up to 10 minutes.

For riders boarding at the Fridley Station, inbound trains will bypass the platform, then switch tracks and return to the station. Passengers heading to Minneapolis will board on the outbound tracks.

For passengers heading north, trains will stop at the Fridley station, then back out and switch tracks before continuing onto Coon Rapids, Anoka, Ramsey, Elk River and Big Lake.

Inbound trains depart Big Lake at 9:30 and 11:50 a.m., and 2:40 p.m.  Northbound trains depart Target Field at 10:40 a.m., 1:20 and 4:55 p.m.

6:30 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 24, 2015 - 6:33 AM

No crashes, not much in the way of congestion and just some damp roads.  Travel times are still great as traffic volumes are lighter than normal for a Friday.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 15 minutes

Southbound 35E from County 96 to I-94: 10 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 12 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 10 minutes. Eastbound is 10 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 9 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 6 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 9 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 9 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 15 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 9 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 18 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 8 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Dell Road to Crosstown: 4 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 6 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 4 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 8 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 8 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 10 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 8 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 6 minutes.

Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 24, 2015 - 5:16 AM

Good morning, commuters!

A few April showers could slow the drive this morning, but other than that Friday is off to a fine start.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the roads and rails this morning, reporting any delays or issues — and I will need your help.

If you see or hear about any congestion, delays or problems, e-mail drive@startribune or tweet @stribdrive.

Jefferson Lines now on Google Transit

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 23, 2015 - 11:06 AM

Planning a trip on Jefferson Lines just got easier as the Minneapolis-based bus company has partnered with Google Transit.

As of this week, passengers can use the application to check Jefferson bus schedules and routes, and get information on how to use public transportation to get to and from the station and around town once they reach their destinations.

"Joining Google Transit gives our passengers another option for planning their trip, easily comparing travel times with driving and seamlessly integrating with local transit on each end," said Becky Alper, a Jefferson spokeswoman

It is believed to be the first inter city bus company to partner with Google Transit.

In a statement, the company said partnering with Google Transit is "evidence of the company's continued effort to place travel information directly in the hands of consumers, making each trip more convenient."

Jefferson Lines, which was founded in 1919, has routes in 13 states, and serves cities such as Minneapolis, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Madison, Wis., Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha, Tulsa, Wichita, Little Rock and Butte, Montana.

The company also has a bus tracker feature on its website. That allows passengers and those waiting for guest to check the real-time status of any bus on any route.

Google Transit is accessible through the Google Maps App available on all mobile devices. The app integrates transit stop, route, schedule, and fare information.

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT