The Drive Logo

Blog

The Drive

News from around the state

Weekend traffic: With big festivals and major road closures, know your route

Motorists can expect major traffic tie-ups across the metro as the Minnesota Department of Transportation starts reconfiguring Interstate 94 in downtown Minneapolis just as tens of thousands of people will stream into the city for large events that include the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Loring Park and the Back to the 50s street rod extravaganza at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The epicenter of congestion will be on I-94 at the Lowry Hill Tunnel (details below), but drivers in the suburbs won’t be immune to construction-related hassles with a new closure on Hwy. 169.

In downtown Minneapolis, there won’t be light-rail service between U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field through July 3. Replacement buses will operate instead.

In St Paul, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park, a Lynx game Friday at 7 at the Xcel Energy Center and Saints games Friday through Sunday evenings at CHS Field will attract crowds and traffic. So will a Loons game Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium celebrations and parades in Roseville, Brooklyn Center, a food truck festival near Calhoun Square at Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue.

At least MnDOT has opened all lanes on Snelling Avenue between Como Avenue and Hwy. 36.

With all that going on, heed the advice of MnDOT spokesman David Aeikens: “Know your route.” Here is where you could find traffic jams this weekend (details below map):

Interstate 94 in Minneapolis and St. Paul

1. I-94 from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center: All eastbound lanes will be closed between I-394 and I-35W from 10 p.m. Friday until noon Sunday. Then, all westbound and eastbound traffic will be shifted onto the eastbound lanes with two lanes in each direction. The westbound side of the tunnel will be closed for 70 days. The ramps from westbound 94 to westbound 394 and Hwy. 55 will close Saturday night. The ramp from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94 closes Saturday morning. One lane from southbound Hwy. 252 to eastbound 94 is now open.

2. I-94 from St. Paul to Maplewood: Lane restrictions and ramp closures between Century Avenue and Mounds Boulevard.

Minneapolis

3. Cedar and Portland avenues: Closed between 28th and Lake streets.

4. Minnehaha Avenue: Closed between Cedar and Franklin avenues.

5. Hennepin Avenue: Closed Sunday from 3rd to Spruce streets for the Twin Cities Pride Festival parade. Third street also closed from Portland to Hennepin avenues.

East Metro

6. I-35E in St. Paul: Lane restrictions in the vicinity of Shepard Road.

7. White Bear Avenue in St. Paul: Closed between I-94 and Minnehaha Avenue

8. Hwy. 110 in Mendota Heights: Eastbound lanes closed between I-35E and I-494.

North Metro

9. Hwy. 96 in White Bear Lake: Overpass over I-35E closed 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

10. Eastbound 694 in Shoreview: Restricted to two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between Hwy. 10 and I-35E. The inside lane carries through traffic and drivers must continue east on I-694. The outside/right lane allows access to local streets and drivers must continue south on I-35E. Westbound traffic is down to two lanes. The ramp from Rice Street to westbound 694 closed until the project is finished in October. The ramp from eastbound 694 to Lexington Avenue is closed.

West Metro

11. Hwy. 169 in Edina and St. Louis Park: Northbound lanes closed between Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 55. The Nine Mile Creek bridge between Bren Road and Lincoln Drive/5th Street is closed and the highway is single lane between I-394 and Excelsior Boulevard. The ramp from westbound I-394 to southbound Hwy. 169 is closed through October. Ramps from Cedar Lake Road and to and from 16th Street to northbound Hwy. 169 are closed.

South Metro

12. 66th Street in Richfield: Closed to through traffic between Girard and Xerxes avenues S.

13. 86th Street in Bloomington: The overpass at I-35W is closed through October. Use 90th Street to cross.

Rain won't delay downtown Minneapolis light-rail shutdown

Rain has pushed back the start of today's Twins-White Sox game at Target Field but that won't stop Metro Transit from shutting down light-rail service at 6:45 p.m. Thursday as scheduled.

Metro Transit had advertised that both Blue and Green line trains would stop running between Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium stations even though the Twins game had not started yet, and if played,will likely not be done before trains stop running.

Additionally, the last Northstar train will depart Target Field Station at 6:15 p.m. regardless of the status of the baseball game, said Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla.

Many fans take LRT trains to Twins games, and with today's game scheduled for 12:10 p.m., it was unlikely the pending shut down would have affected their trips home.

The game has been delayed 5 hours and there shouts of "play ball" are expected around 5 p.m.

Nonetheless, Metro Transit will go ahead with its planned closure. Fans and those needing transportation to U.S. Bank Stadium to catch a Blue or Green line train can board replacement buses which will start running when trains stop. The nearest bus stop to Target Field is the 5th Street Garage.