Blame the cold weather for delaying the start of the paving project on Interstate 94 between Clearwater and St. Cloud, Minn. But the cones are out and the project is underway.
On Wednesday, MnDOT crews reduced westbound I-94 to a single lane from state highway 24 and Stearns County Road 75. Eastbound traffic will be reduced to a single lane on the same stretch, but that probably won't take effect until Thursday evening. However, look for some lane closings and segments of single lane traffic in spots.
The work was supposed to have started Monday, but was postponed until Wednesday evening and Thursday due to the cold weather, which prevented crews from placing pavement markings on the road to guide drivers through the work zone safely, MnDOT said.
Motorists can expect single lane traffic in both directions until mid-July. Officials say drivers can expect major delays, especially on weekends. Some forecasts say backups could extend for five to seven miles, with backups of 20 miles or more during peak travel periods.