The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will be the biggest disruption for motorists this weekend. A rainy forecast has forced MnDOT to cancel plans to close portions I-494 and I-694, but Metro Transit will proceed with Blue Line track work.
More than 28,000 runners will participate in events in connection with the 32nd annual marathon Saturday and Sunday and that means thousands of spectators will be coming into town to cheer them on. You can expect extra traffic on the roads.
The Minnesota Wild play against the Anaheim Ducks at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. The Lynx open the 2013 WNBA finals against the Atlanta Dream Sunday at 7 p.m. at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Twin Cities Marathon road closings
The main events, the 26.2-mile run from Minneapolis to St. Paul takes steps off at 8 a.m. Sunday. The shorter 10-mile race starts at 7 a.m. A number of roads will be closed.
The biggest change this year is that new weight restrictions have gone into effect on the Franklin Avenue bridge. As a result, no vehicles will be allowed to cross the bridge during the race as they have been allowed to in previous years.
Spectators who plan on driving to spots along the east side of the course should use the Lake Street or I-94 bridges. The Ford Pkwy. bridge is also an option, but it is quite a bit south of the action.
Downtown Minneapolis: Starting at 5 a.m. Sunday, the area around the Metrodome from 5th Avenue to 11th Avenue and 3rd Street to 6th Street will be off limits to vehicular traffic. That's the staging area for Sunday's races.
State Capitol area: John Ireland Blvd. from 12th Street to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. will closed Thursday.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.and Aurora Avenue closed at 9 a.m. Friday.
12th Street from Wabasha Street to John Ireland Blvd. will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday and from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Elsewhere along the course: The course follows 6th Street from the Metrodome to Hennepin Avenue, then south to Douglas Avenue, then along parkways that ring Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Then it goes east on Minnehaha Pkwy. to West River Road, north to the Franklin Avenue bridge, down East River Road to Summit Avenue and on to the finish line at the State Capitol.
Traffic during the race
In Minneapolis, traffic on the course will be prohibited starting at 7:30a.m. Cross traffic will be allowed to flow until the wheel chair athletes begin to approach. In St. Paul, traffic on the course will be prohibited starting at 6:50 a.m. Cross traffic will be allowed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., then not allowed until roughly 2 p.m.
Once cross traffic is closed, the Twin Cities Marathon web site has suggestions for fans and motorists who need to get around or across the race course.
BLUE LINE TRACK WORK
Work on the 34th Avenue and I-494 interchange brings another weekend in which buses will operate in place of light-rail trains between the Mall of America and Terminal 2 at MSP Airport. Buses will run from 7:30 p.m. Friday until 3:30 a.m. Monday.
METRO ROAD CLOSINGS
I-694 in Arden Hills
Construction continues from Long Lake Road to Hwy. 100. Lane restrictions remain in place so expect periods of congestion. These ramps also are closed: Loop from westbound 694 to eastbound 94 and the ramps to northbound Hwy. 252.
Northbound 252 at junction of 694 is reduced to 1 lane from 5 a.m.-2 p.m. daily and southbound 252 at junction of 694 is reduced to a single lane from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
I-35 in Lakeville
Expect big delays as the single lane configuration remains in place through November. The construction zone runs from County Road 50 in Lakeville to County Road 2 in Elko. The ramps from County 60 to northbound I-35 and from northbound 35 to County 60 also are closed.
Hwy. 10 in Anoka
Drivers can expect intermittent, off-peak lane closures in both directions of Hwy 10 between Fairoak Avenue and Hanson Blvd. through Anoka and Coon Rapids. A paving project is in progress.
Hwy. 36/Hwy. 61
The loop from northbound Hwy. 61 to westbound Hwy. 36 remains closed, but is supposed to reopen on Tuesday. Until then, the detour takes drivers east on Hwy. 36 to the new English Street overpass, then back on westbound Hwy. 36.
Due to the SlutWalk Minneapolis, no traffic will be allowed on Historic Main Street and on West River Pkwy. from Plymouth Avenue to Franklin Av. S. The events runs 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Hwy. 65 in Spring Lake Park
And now for something that is opening.
The Spring Lake Park pedestrian bridge will be open to foot traffic by 6 p.m. Friday, weather permitting.
The bridge spanning the highway at 80th Av., has been closed to pedestrians since June 10 as crews installed a new deck and railings, painted beams and added pedestrian ramps on each side of the bridge.