AAA says more than 34.8 million Americans will hit the highways between Wednesday night and Sunday, and they will pay more for gas. On Monday, the Energy Information Administration said the national average price for a gallon of gas was $3.70, the highest heading into a July 4 weekend since 2008. Here in Minnesota, the average price of a gallon of gas Thursday morning was $3.66 according to AAA.
For those staying in town, the Twins are playing the New York Yankees in games Thursday through Sunday at Target Field.
Car travel in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul could prove difficult Friday night as thousands are expected to descend on the downtowns for big fireworks shows. Some roads will be blocked. See details below.
MnDOT is suspending road work, but drivers will still find cones and barrels out in long-running construction zones. See details about metro area road work and significant projects outstate that could affect out-of-town travel below.
Metro Transit buses and the METRO Blue and Green lines will follow Sunday/Holiday schedules on Independence Day Friday. Minnesota Valley Transit buses and the METRO Red Line will, too. No service on SouthWest Transit or Maple Grove Transit lines.
Metro Transit will offer Northstar service to all weekend Twins games. Here is a schedule.
Here is a rundown on getting around this weekend.
Fireworks in Minneapolis and St. Paul commence at 10 p.m. Friday, but festivities and set up begin long before that. Look for road closures in both downtowns.
In Minneapolis:No official road closures have been announced for the Red, White and Boom celebration, but expect crammed conditions on roads near the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, including Hennepin Avenue, 3rd Avenue, Washington Avenue, Central Avenue and University Avenue. Organizers say 60,000 people may attend.
In St. Paul vehicle traffic will not be allowed in the area from Rice Street to Cedar Street and from University Avenue to 12th Street West. City officials suggest people use public transit to get to and from the show at the State Capitol Mall.
Parking meters will not be enforced Friday in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. However, all other parking restrictions in the city remain in effect and will be subject to enforcement, including Park Board meters along Minneapolis parkways, University of Minnesota parking meters and those of private organizations who operate their own meters. Always read the information posted on the meter and follow other parking regulations as posted to be certain.
Metro area road projects
An advisory from MnDOT reminds motorists to use extra caution when driving through highway work zones this weekend. Here are some projects that could affect travel:
Twin Cities Metro area
- Highway 61 - Single-lane traffic in both directions between White Bear Avenue and north of Highway 96 in White Bear Lake
- Highway 65 - Southbound between 53rd Ave NE in Fridley and County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park is closed
- Highway 36 and Hilton in Pine Springs - Lane and ramp closures; northbound I-694 ramp to eastbound Highway 36, the ramp from Hilton Trail to westbound Highway 36; and access to Viking Drive from eastbound Highway 36 are all closed
- Highway 101 and County Road 144 in Rogers – Lane closures; northbound to eastbound County Road 144 is closed; westbound County Road 144 to northbound Highway 101 is closed; County Road 144 is closed west of James Road
- Highway 101 - Single-lane traffic northbound and southbound from County Road 14 to Hwy. 212.
- Highway 169 in Edina – Southbound is closed between Highway 62 and Valley View Road
- Highway 41 between Chaska and Shakopee is closed due to flooding
- I-35E is reduced to two lanes in each direction between Little Canada Road and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul.
- Highway 10 east of Glyndon - Lane closures; traffic reduced to one lane in each direction
- Highway 29/Broadway St., downtown Alexandria - Traffic detoured to adjacent streets
- Highway 10 in Rice - Narrow lanes, lane shifts, reduced speed limit, temporary signals
- Highway 95 at Rum River in Cambridge - Detour via local streets, width limit
- Highway 33 northbound - Restricted to single lane near Doddridge Avenue/Big Lake Road intersection; entrance from Big Lake Road to Super One is closed; frontage road entrances are closed on both sides of Highway 33 at Doddridge Avenue and Big Lake Road
- Highway 71 in Browerville – Road closed, detour via County Roads 14, 11
- Highway 22 in Eden Valley – Road closed, detour via County Road 9
- I-94 in Monticello - Narrow lanes, lane shifts, reduced speed limit, Go Hasty detour uses County Road 75 in Monticello to County Road 8 in Hasty; through-town detour uses Highway 25, County Road 18, Broadway/County Road 75 and Chelsea Road
- I-35 in Owatonna – Two-way traffic with crossovers, ramp closures, detours, delays
- Highway 52 in Cannon Falls - Lane closures
- Highway 63 south – Detour from north of Stewartville to south of Racine
- Highway 14 – Detour from Florence to Tracy
- Highway 24 – Detour from Litchfield to Highway 15
- Highways 7/22 – Detour from Cosmos to Hutchinson
- Highway 212 – Detour from Dawson to west of Highway 59
- Highway 169 from St. Peter to LeSueur – Lane restrictions
- Highway 22 in Mankato – Detour
- Highway 60 near St. James – Detour
- Highways 19 and 93 from Highway 169 to Henderson – Closed because of flooding
For the duration of the holiday weekend, and the remainder of the construction season, MnDOT urges drivers to:
- Stay alert, especially at night.
- Obey posted speed limits. Fines may double for violations in work zones.
- Expect work zones to constantly change. Day to day, you could experience lane shifts, closures or moving workers and vehicles.
- Stay off cell phones and mobile devices.
- Move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed for stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles, including ambulance, fire, law enforcement or maintenance and construction vehicles.
- Use 511mn.org to plan trips and avoid delays.