The long awaited warm weather arrives just in time for the weekend. Temperatures should approach or surpass 70 degrees, according to meteorologist Paul Douglas, so expect the bike and walking paths around the Minneapolis lakes and other parks to be teeming with folks looking to escape cabin fever.  The roads should be in good shape, too, but busy around sporting events, festivals and in construction zones.

Sporting events

The March of Dimes holds is Walk for Babies at 11 a.m. Sunday at Como Park in St. Paul.

The Twins host the Texas Rangers 7:10 p.m. Friday, 3:10 p.m. Saturday and 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Wild plays its final home game of the season at 7 p.m. Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Gophers play their annual spring football game at 1 p.m. Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Scores of bicyclists will be out in Washington County for the Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride through Lake Elmo, Stillwater, Oak Park Heights, Grant, Afton and other communities. The start and finish is at the Washington County Fairgrounds off 40th Street and Stillwater Blvd.

Look for riders on 15-, 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-mile treks on some major roads, including Manning Avenue, 75th Street, Scandia Trail, Stagecoach Trail and  through streets in Stillwater.  The rides take place on Sunday.

Spring Jam at the U

Expect some extra traffic on Washington Avenue and streets around the University of Minnesota. It's the annual Spring Jam featuring lots of bands, dancing and food. The shindig runs Friday and Saturday.

Lafayette Bridge Crossover

On the roads, the favorable weather will finally allow MnDOT to build the crossover from the existing Lafayette Bridge to the new Lafayette Bridge. Both directions of Hwy. 52 will be closed between Concord Street and I-94 at 8 p.m. Friday until 8 p.m. Saturday.

When it reopens, northbound vehicles that are longer than 35 feet will be prohibited from crossing the Mississippi River on Hwy. 52. Vehicles will be required to exit at Plato Blvd.

The designated detour takes northbound drivers on eastbound 494 to northbound Hwy. 61 to westbound 94 into St. Paul.  Southbound drivers will follow I-94 east to Hwy. 61, then south to 494, then west back to Hwy. 52.

 Metro Transit Route 452 serving Mendota Heights and West St. Paul will be on detour as follows:

Westbound/northbound: buses will travel on Hwy. 52 to the Plato exit. From there, buses will travel on Plato, Robert, Kellogg, 7th St. and then 5th St. to westbound I-94. This detour is expected to last until December.

Eastbound/southbound: buses will travel on I-94 to the 5th St. exit, then take 7th St., Kellogg, Robert, Plato, Lafayette Rd. to southbound Hwy. 52. This detour is expected to last a year.

I-35E related construction

In preparation for a larger construction and rebuilding of I-35E around the Cayuga Bridge, L’Orient Street is closed between Genesse Street and Granite Street. A detour is posted. The street will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday.

Single lane configuration on 494

A portion of both directions if I-494 through Bloomington will be reduced to one lane during the overnight hours Friday through Sunday. Lanes between Hwy. 100 and Penn Avenue will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In conjunction with the I-494 improvement project, both northbound and southbound ramps from France Avenue to eastbound 494 will be closed for the next six to eight weeks. Detours will be posted.

Sign work near MSP

Look for some lane closures on Hwy. 55 and I-494 in the vicinity of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Crews will be updating airport signs on Sunday.

Maintenance work on Hwy. 100

Northbound Hwy. 100 will be reduced to one lane from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday from Hwy. 7 to I-394. The right lane will be closed as will some exit ramps. MnDOT crews will be conducting overhead sign work.

Clearwater ramp closed

Motorists heading up north will encounter a single lane on I-94 between Clearwater and County Road 75 in St. Cloud. In conjunction with the project, the ramp from eastbound I-94 to Hwy. 24 will be closed through Monday.

A signed detour will direct motorists from eastbound I-94 to eastbound Opportunity Drive/County Road 75 to Highway 24 in Clearwater. That detour exits the interstate about five miles west – or prior to – Highway 24.

Looking ahead

It's pothole repair time, and starting Monday, West River Parkway will be blocked between S. 4th Street by the West Bank campus of the University of Minnesota and Franklin Avenue, Crews will ground down to a depth of 7 inches and repaved. It’s a section where southbound cars have been known to veer into the oncoming lane to avoided the heavily patched and potholed pavement.

In St. Paul, Phalen Blvd. will be shut down between Mississippi Street and Olive Street beginning Monday. Crews will install a new water main.  The closure will be in effect until May 3. Drivers will be detoured via University Avenue.  Pedestrians and bicyclists are advised to avoid the area.

Highway 95 resurfacing

MnDOT has reschedued resurfacing project on Hwy. 95 between Hwy. 8 and the Sunrise River in Chisago County will begin on Monday. Work will continue through August and motorists will be detoured around the site. Access to downtown Taylors Falls will be retained.  Highway 95 will be closed between Oasis Road and Park Trail. Traffic will be detoured via Oasis Road and County Road 11. For more information see MnDOT's web site.

 Cedar Avenue in Apple Valley will be down to one at times in both directions starting Monday from 155th St to 138th St.





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Keeping tabs on Thursday's morning commute

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9 a.m. update: A pair of wrecks on 394