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Block Party, All-Star events to tie up Mpls. traffic

  • Article by: Tim Harlow
  • Star Tribune
  • July 11, 2014 - 6:19 AM

Downtown Minneapolis will be the place to find all sorts of fun with this weekend’s Basilica Block Party and events leading up to Tuesday and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Target Field.

But getting to the festivities — or just to the office — could be tricky by car, bus or bicycle. A number of streets will be shut down from Friday through Tuesday, while others will have short-term and periodic closures. And they’ll be scattered throughout downtown, not just near the stadium.

Prepare now to use alternate routes, and be ready for lots of extra vehicular and foot traffic on streets that remain open.

No fewer than 10 Metro Transit routes will be on detours from 9 a.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Wednesday. They include routes that normally run on S. 6th Street between 1st Avenue N. and Hennepin Avenue S. On Monday and Tuesday, buses that normally run on Nicollet Mall will be shifted to Hennepin Avenue. Buses that operate on 7th Street between Marquette Avenue and N. 10th Street also will be detoured, Metro Transit said.

The biggest traffic disruptions will likely be on Tuesday, when the Interstate 394 ramp into downtown will be closed for three hours when the Red Carpet parade takes place on Nicollet Mall. Traffic will be diverted to the 6th and 4th Street exits as well as Washington Avenue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During that time, Nicollet Mall will be closed, as will S. 7th Street from Marquette Avenue to 10th Street, north of Target Field. Traffic will not be allowed to cross Nicollet Mall west of 6th Street from 10 p.m. Monday through 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“That could make it a bit challenging to get around,” said Jon Wertjes of the Minneapolis Public Works Department. “Come early and stay late, that is one of our mottos. Give yourself extra time. Enjoy yourself, don’t be rushed and don’t let it become a headache.”

His advice for commuters heading home: “Leave early.”

While Tuesday could be the most problematic for commuters, expect things to get more difficult beginning Friday when FanFest opens at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Traffic volume will likely increase as the weekend progresses, Wertjes said.

“We have had capacity events and managed traffic around them in the past, but there will be a few unique wrinkles with the All-Star Game,” Wertjes said.

To help with the expected crush, Metro Transit said it will operate special Northstar trains Saturday through Tuesday, and extra light-rail trains will be in service on the Blue and Green lines as needed.

 

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768

All-Star Game long-term closures

• N. 6th Street between 1st Avenue N. and Hennepin Avenue S. by Target Center: 9 a.m. Friday through midnight Tuesday.

• Grant Street and 2nd Avenue S. between Marquette Avenue and 12th Street near the Minneapolis Convention Center: 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Tuesday.

• 4th Avenue S. between S. 4th and 5th Streets: 8 a.m. Sunday through midnight Tuesday.

• Twins Way from Royalston Avenue and N. 7th Street: 10 a.m. Sunday through midnight Tuesday.

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