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Wrong way driver led to fatal crash that shut down I-94 in Minneapolis

A driver believed to be impaired by alcohol and heading the wrong way on Interstate 94 in north Minneapolis early Tuesday struck another vehicle head-on killing two teenage occupants in the vehicle he hit, the State Patrol said.

The 26-year-old male driver who was going in the wrong direction was traveling west in the eastbound lanes when he collided with a Toyota Camry between Lowry Avenue N. and 26th Avenue N. about 1:35 a.m. The wrong way driver was seriously injured and taken to North Memorial Medical Center where a blood sample was taken, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson.

"The wrong way driver we believe was impaired by alcohol," Nielson said.

A 19-year-old man who was driving the Camry and his 18-year-old female passenger were killed in the wreck. Their names have not been released.

The eastbound lanes of I-94 were shut down for about four hours following the crash. Drivers were forced to exit the freeway at Dowling Avenue while authorities reconstructed the crash and cleared the debris.

The freeway reopened about 5:45 a.m.

Overnight Lowry Hill Tunnel, I-35W closures set for this week

Attention late-night drivers: Two of the metro area's busiest freeways will be shut down during the overnight hours this week. They include I-35W in Bloomington and I-94 in downtown Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the westbound lanes of I-94 in the Lowry Hill Tunnel Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to complete work related to this summer's pavement rehabilitation and bridge repair project.

All westbound lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each of the three nights as crews install a curb near the inside wall, put in new lighting and apply final lane striping.  During the closures, drivers can use the Prohibited Vehicle route via the Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue exit and rejoin westbound I-94 near I-394.

The eastbound lanes inside the tunnel will remain open.

In Bloomington, motorists will encounter closures on I-35W as crews set beams for the new 86th Street bridge. Southbound lanes will be shut down between I-494 and 90th Street from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday. The posted detour is via Crosstown or I-494 east to Cedar Avenue, then south to I-35E to I-35.

Then from 10 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday, the northbound lanes between Hwy. 13 to I-494 will be closed. The detour is via northbound I-35E or Hwy. 13 to Cedar Avenue, then north on Cedar to I-494 and west back to I-35W.

While the freeway is closed, crews also will install a new beam for 82nd Street bridge. That bridge was damaged in April and has been one lane in each direction ever since.

Over in St. Paul, the intersection of Lexington Parkway and Grand Avenue will close from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Friday. Ramsey County crews will be removing and replacing crumbling brick crosswalks. While no specific detour will be in place, drivers can take side streets to get around the closure.  Parking will be banned on Dunlop and Oxford streets between Grand and Summit avenues during the closure.

Look for a new configuration on Cleveland Avenue in Roseville starting this week. The segment between Iona Lane and Glenpaul Avenue will be resurfaced and restriped. The road will go from four lanes (two traffic lanes in each direction) to three lanes, with one traffic lane in each direction and a center turn lane. There also will be a bike lane in each direction.

Drivers on Marshall Avenue/Lake Street bridge will have only one lane in each direction through mid-October. Ramsey County crews are removing and replacing expansion joints. As a result, things are a bit tight on the bridge over the Mississippi River and drivers need to be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists, the county said.

Up in Osceola, it will be another two weeks before the Hwy. 243 bridge over the St. Croix River reopens. The target date had been Thursday, but crews need more time to finish their work, said MnDOT spokesman Kevin Walker.

Workers are restoring the bridge deck, resurfacing the highway and repairing hillside erosion. The bridge has been closed since Sept. 12 when a hole appeared in the deck.