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State Fair, Vikings' first home game pose big traffic hassles

The weekend traffic volume on metro area freeways and highways is likely to be heavier than normal as thousands make their way to the Minnesota State Fair. Drivers can expect traffic snarls on Snelling, Larpenteur and Como avenues along with other roads in the vicinity of the fairgrounds.

The fair will bring a surge in traffic on Hwys. 280 and 36 and on Interstates 35W and I-94, too. Ramp jams along those routes are possible as drivers get off the mainline. One spot where traffic typically backs up are on I-94 at the Huron Boulevard exits as many drivers head to fair park and ride lot at the University of Minnesota. There also will be lots of buses on the roads as Metro Transit, SouthWest Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority operate their State Fair express service.

Downtown Minneapolis will see an influx of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Sunday as the Vikings kick off the U.S. Bank Stadium era with their pre-season home opener against San Diego at noon. The game will put pressure on downtown streets. The one-block closure of Chicago Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets and westbound Washington Avenue from Portland Avenue to Hennepin Avenue could complicate the traffic flow.

The Lynx get back to action after the Olympic break with a 6 p.m. game Sunday at Target Center. The Renaissance Festival continues in Shakopee.

The most noteworthy road closure in the metro is on Hwy. 5, also known as W. 7th Street. It will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday night through Monday morning between Hwy. 55 and Davern Street.

Vacationers making a jailbreak for the cabin will find I-94 down to a single lane between Hwy. 23 and Collegeville, but two eastbound lanes will be available between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday. To the north, it's single lane all weekend on I-35 between Hinckley and Pine City.

A DWI enforcement continues through Labor Day, so drive sober.

Here is your weekend road construction roundup:

1. I-494 in Plymouth: Traffic between Fish Lake Road in Maple Grove and Hwy. 55 in Plymouth has been shifted to the southbound side of the freeway and is reduced to two lanes each direction until Nov. 4. Ramp closures: Westbound 394 to southbound 494 and southbound 494 from Carlson Pkwy. Other ramps south of Hwy. 55 are open.

2. Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park: The highway is open in both directions but look for lane closures in the vicinity of 36th Street/Excelsior Boulevard.

3. Hwy. 65 in Fridley: Southbound lanes will be closed at 73rd Avenue from 9 a.m. Friday until midnight Saturday for concrete repair.

4. I-35W in Arden Hills: Intermittent lane closures in the area of County Road H.

5. I-694 in Shoreview: Westbound traffic has two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between I-35E and Lexington Avenue. Ramp from westbound 694 to Rice Street and Lexington Avenue closed.

6. I-35E in the northeast metro: Intermittent lane closures between County roads 96 and J. County 96 is single lane from Centerville Road to White Bear Parkway.

7. Hwys. 61 and 97 in Forest Lake: Highway 61 is single lane between the south intersection of Hwy 97/ Scandia Trail N and 202nd Street.

8. Hwy. 8 in Franconia: The highway is closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia and downtown Taylors Falls.

9. I-94 from St. Paul to Maplewood: The left westbound lane between Mounds Blvd and Century Ave. is permanently closed through late August. The left eastbound lane is closed most weekdays and Saturdays through mid-September.

10. Hwy. 36 at Lexington Avenue:  A new configuration is in place as westbound traffic has been moved to permanent lanes. Eastbound is still following bypass lanes.

11. I-35W in Minneapolis: The following bridges over I-35W have lane closures: Westbound Hennepin Avenue and northbound Johnson Street, but eastbound Broadway Street has reopened.

12. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis: The bridge over the Mississippi River is closed until Labor Day. Nearby: Minnehaha Avenue southbound open only from 27th Street to Lake Street and both directions closed 34th Street to Lake Street.

13. Hwy. 5 in St. Paul: Closed in both directions over the Mississippi River from Hwy. 55 to Davern Street from 10 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.

14. Hwy. 13 in Lilydale: Closed between Wachtler Avenue and Sylvandale Road until Sept. 2.

15. Hwy. 3 in Farmington: Alternating lane closures between Hwy 50 and 179th Street.

16. Hwy. 61 in Denmark Township: Crews are prepping the road for construction in both directions of Hwy 61 from just north of Hwy 10 to just south of 127th Street.

Temporary TSA PreCheck enrollment center opens for a week in Bloomington

For one week only, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will operate a temporary enrollment center for passengers to enroll in the PreCheck program.

PreCheck allows fliers who pass a background check and pay $85 for a five-year period to bypass standard screening through special lanes that allow them to leave their shoes, belts and light jackets on. Laptops can remain in carry-on luggage, making passing through security faster.

The demand to enroll in the program has been high since the spring when long lines at security checkpoints developed at MSP and airports across the country.

Identogo, the company operated by MorphoTrust USA and enlisted by the TSA to conduct the enrollment process, will operate the application center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Hilton Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Mall of America Hotel, 3800 E. American Blvd., Bloomington.

The temporary center will be able to serve up to 1,000 applicants over the five-day period. Appointments can be set up online at www. universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator and the application process at  https://www.tsa.gov/precheck.  I tried the website and it wasn't the most intuitive, so calling 1-855-347-8371 might be just as easy.

Travelers should bring cash, check or credit card along with a passport or a birth certificate and current driver's license to their appointments.

For the record, more than 78,000 fliers have registered to become trusted travelers. Seven airlines serving MSP are participating in PreCheck. They include Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, Sun Country and United.