The Wheelock Parkway and Arlington Avenue bridges over I-35E are coming down.

Lane restrictions on both bridges will be in place from 7 tonight until 4 a.m. Thursday as Minnesota Department of Transportation crews place barriers along the curbs. Flaggers will be out to direct motorists.

This is in advance of next weekend's project when both bridges will be torn down as part of a project to reconstruct 35E and add a MnPASS lane between Maryland Avenue and Little Canada Road.

Starting at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 until 5 a.m. March 3, both directions of 35E between Hwy. 36 and I-94 will be closed while the demolition takes place.

MnDOT estimates that the Wheelock Pkwy. and Arlington bridges will be closed until May. That is when the Larpenteur Avenue bridge will be rebuilt. Sometime this spring or early summer, the Gateway Trail bridge over 35E will be removed.

This will be the first MnPASS lane in the east metro, and "essential link for people commuting between downtown St. Paul and the suburbs to the north," MnDOT said. The lane for carpools and solo drivers who pay a fee to use it is scheduled to open in 2015.

The project also will include pavement improvements between Little Canada Road and Maryland Avenue.

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