The new Metro Red Line opens along Cedar Avenue on Saturday while aficionados of old vehicles will gather at the State Fairgrounds. That's if they can get there. Bridge demolition on I-94/694 and road work will put many drivers on detour.

The Minnesota Lynx are in town hosting the Tulsa Shock at 7 p.m. Sunday at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. And thousands of folks will be headed north on I-35 to Duluth for Grandma's Marathon.

Meteorologist Paul Douglas says to be ready for heat, humidity and storms throughout the weekend as you head out to work or play.

Red Line Debut

The long awaited grand opening of the metro area's first Bus Rapid Transit line takes place Saturday Rides on the new service will be free through June 30. Colleague Laurie Blake wrote an in-depth story earlier this week.

As part of the kickoff, family activities, prizes and food will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cedar Grove Transit Station in Eagan and the Apple Valley Transit Station. Elected officials and project partners will participate in an official launch ceremony at noon at the Apple Valley Transit Station.

The new service along Cedar Avenue uses buses to shuttle passengers from Apple Valley to the Mall of America in Bloomington. The service operate much like light rail with buses traveling along the shoulder of Cedar Avenue and making stops at five staions along the way.  They will run every 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends.

In conjunction with the Red Line openings, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority has adjusted several bus routes. I posed them in a separate post earlier.

Now on to the major construction projects

We've heard all week about the construction project on I-694. The project has brought lane restrictions in both directions between East River Road and Hwy. 252.

This weekend the MnDOT crews will start taking down the bridges on I-694 that cross Hwy. 252 in Brooklyn Center, along with part of the westbound I-94 that passes over Hwy. 252. The result is that westbound 94 and both northbound and southbound Hwy. 252 will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Motorists will encounter single lane traffic on all three roadways at the busy interchange.

This is the first of several weekend closures that will occur from now through November when the concrete repair project affecting I-694 between Hwy. 100 and I-35W will be completed.

Paving on Hwy. 169

This is the second of four consecutive weekends that MnDOT will shut down southbound Hwy. 169 from 77th Avenue to Hwy. 55 for a repaving project. The closure goes into effect at 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. The suggested detour is southbound I-494 to eastbound I-394.

To the south, Hwy. 169 is a single lane from Hwy. 7 to the Crosstown in both directions. Ramps from Bren Road to  northbound 169 is closed as is the ramp from Interlachen Road to southbound Hwy. 169. The ramp from Excelsior Blvd. to southbound Hwy. 169 also is closed.

Highway 36 shut downs and lane reductions

Both directions of Hwy. 36 between White Bear Aveue and Hwy. 61 as MnDOT builds an interchange at English Street . The suggested detour is to use I-35E and I-694.

In addition, look for lane reductions between Hwy. 61 and Edgerton Street as work on the Keller Lake bridge continues. Westbound goes to a single lane Friday or Saturday. Eastbound goes to a single lane at noon Sunday.

Further to the east, the highway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction from 4 a.m. Saturday to noon Sunday to allow crews to install a waterpipe under Hwy. 36. During the work, no left turns will be allowed at Hilton Trail or Viking Drive.

Washington County news

A reminder that Stagecoach Trail at Valley Creek Road in Afton is closed through Labor Day for bridge replacement.

To the north of Stillwater, Hwy. 95 in both directions between County Road 11 and County Road 9 remains shut down until July 8. Crews are installing a new drainage system.

The first part of the new roundabout at Woodbury Drive and Lake Road opens to east-west traffic at 5 p.m. Friday. North-south traffic will still be prohibited from the area.  That will be lifted in July, Woodbury City officials said.

Work on another roundabout at Bailey Road and Woodbury Drive will begin later this summer.

Other noteable closures

It's a single lane in each direction on I-35E from Cedar Avenue to the I-35/I-35W split through Eagan and Burnsville.

Hwy. 13 is under construction at County Road 5 in Burnsville.

Road work on I-35 heading to Duluth

Motorists traveling north on I-35 near Duluth can expect delays on Friday afternoon and evening. Delays can also be expected for southbound travelers Sunday. Motorists are advised to allow extra travel-time or travel during off-peak times if possible.

A five-mile-long section of I-35 is restricted to one lane northbound and southbound while crews continue work on a resurfacing project. The project area begins in Scanlon, Minn. and ends at Boundary Ave.

The I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior, Wis. (the Blatnik Bridge) is down to one lane in each direction as part of a bridge rehabilitation project.


Car shows and parties

Look for lots of chrome and classic vehicles at the  Minnesota Street Rod Association's Back to the 50s car show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Along with all the 10,000 street rods that will be on display, look for throngs of folks heading to the event on Snelling Avenue and Como Avenue. Traffic will be heavy in the area Friday through Sunday.

In Minneapolis, the Guthrie Theater hosts its 50th Anniversary party on Sunday. Streets around the theater at 818 2nd Av. S. will be cordoned off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Community Day activities.

Two parkways will be closed in Minneapolis

Historic Main Street from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday for the Heartbeat 5000.  On Sunday, West River Parkway from Portland Av. S. to E. Franklin Avenue from 8 to 11 a.m. for the Guthrie 50 5K.










In the east metro,  Stagecoach Trail at Valley Creek in Afton closing today through Labor Day for bridge replacement

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