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News from around the state

Weekend traffic: Hwy. 7 opening nears; Hwy. 36 and part of the Blue Line shut down

Motorists in the west metro can rejoice. If all goes as planned, the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Saturday will open the Hwy. 7 bridge over Hwy. 100 and the segment of the highway between Wooddale Avenue and Belt Line Road in St. Louis Park. The agency had planned a Saturday opening.

And even better days are ahead for Hwy. 100 drivers. MnDOT is wrapping up its work between Minnetonka Boulevard and W. 36th Street and all lanes should be open within the next couple weeks, the agency said.

Meanwhile, this weekend, motorists in the east metro will have to deal with a closure on Hwy. 36 in Roseville as MnDOT puts the final touches on the new Lexington Avenue bridges while drivers on I-94 in downtown Minneapolis will encounter lane closures on Saturday.

Maintenance will take the southern end of the Blue Line offline. Trains will not run between Terminal 2-Humphrey at MSP Airport and the Mall of America from 9:30 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. on Monday. Buses will fill in.

It's a light weekend for congestion-generating events, but there could be some congestion around local college football games, the Wild's Saturday night game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and the Minnesota United's game Saturday night at the National Sports Center in Blaine. The state high school soccer tournament takes over U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

While you are out and about, wear your seat belt and plan for a sober ride. A statewide seat belt enforcement continues through Sunday and law enforcement will conduct increased DWI enforcement for Halloween celebrations in the top 14 dangerous drunk driving counties: Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka, Stearns, Washington, Wright, Otter Tail, St. Louis, Sherburne, Cass, Scott, Winona and Crow Wing.

Here is where you'll run into road work and possible delays:

1. I-494 in Plymouth: Two lanes open in both directions between Hwy. 55 and I-694/94. Intermittent lane and ramp closures south of Hwy. 55.

2. Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park: Watch for non-peak temporary closures between W. 36th Street and Minnetonka Blvd. and along Hwy. 7 between Belt Line Road and Wooddale Avenue.

3. County Road 81 in Brooklyn Park: Single lane from 63rd Avenue to West Broadway Avenue.

4. I-35W in Mounds View: Lanes narrow in the vicinity of County Road H due to bridge construction.

5. I-694 in Shoreview: Westbound traffic has two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between I-35E and Lexington Avenue.

6. I-35E in northeast metro: Intermittent lane closures between County E and Main Street.

7. Hwy. 8 in Franconia: Closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia and downtown Taylors Falls.

8. White Bear Avenue in St. Paul: Road work between I-94 to Beech Street and closed to all traffic between Wilson Avenue and 3rd Street.

9. I-94 in St. Paul and Maplewood: Occasional lane restrictions between Mounds Blvd. and Century Avenue. Westbound single lane from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday.

10. Hwy. 36 in Roseville: Eastbound Hwy. 36 closed from Hamline Avenue to Dale Street from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

11. I-94 in Minneapolis: Westbound will have lane closures on Saturday and Sunday between Huron Boulevard. and I-35W.

12. Cedar Avenue in Eagan: Northbound reduced to two lanes between Diffley Road and Nicols Road. Ramp from westbound Hwy. 13 to northbound Cedar closed.

13. Hwy. 212 in Carver: Reduced to one lane on Saturday from Powers Boulevard to Johnathan Carver Parkway.

With barrier complete, Hwy. 12 reopens Friday in Orono and Long Lake

The contractor building a concrete median barrier along a 3-mile segment of Hwy. 12 in Wayzata and Orono has finished its work a week early and the road will reopen to motorists on Friday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

The eastbound lanes between County Road 6 and County Road 112 opened at 5 a.m. and the westbound lanes are set to be open in time for the afternoon rush, the transportation agency said.

Drivers have been on detour since Oct. 17 when contractor, S.M. Hentges & Sons, Inc., began work on installing the median to separate eastbound from westbound along the dangerous stretch of the highway that has seen a high number of crossover crashes, including six fatal wrecks since 2011 . The work was part of safety improvements for Highway 12 as recommended in the U.S. 12 Road Safety Audit.

For the past two weeks, motorists have been on detour and routed through Long Lake along Wayzata Boulevard. The $2.3 million project was not supposed to be complete until next week. But fast work and good weather allowed the contractor to finish the work a week early.

"We would like to thank the residents of Long Lake and Orono for their support for the project and for their patience during the barrier installation,” stated Susan Youngs, Towards Zero Deaths regional coordinator.