The Metrodome will be epicenter of activity on Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings have their home opener with a game against the Cleveland Browns at noon.
The Lynx begin their quest to win the WNBA Western Conference title with a first-round game against the Seattle Storm at 8 p.m. Friday at Target Center.
Target Field also hosts the Light the Night Walk benefit for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Sunday afternoon. Participants could run into a parking squeeze as the start time is just after the Vikings game will be letting out.
Fans driving to either game or Light the Night Walk should not have any construction-related problems getting there. No major road projects will disrupt travel into downtown Minneapolis.
It's a different story in St. Paul and in the northern suburbs where a day-long closure of the northbound lanes of the Lafayette Bridge is scheduled for Saturday and a weekend shut down of part of 694 in New Brighton. For more details, see the ROADWORK section below.
The 411 on GETTING TO THE VIKINGS GAME
The purple gang takes to the gridiron at noon Sunday to begin the final season at the Metrodome. If you are going to the game, here are a few tips:
The City of Minneapolis will block off the following streets in the vicinity of the Metrodome beginning at 10 a.m. and keep them free from traffic until 2 hours after the game ends, roughly 5 p.m:
- 5th Street between Park Avenue and 11th Avenue.
- Chicago Avenue/Kirby Puckett Place from 3rd Street to 6th Street.
- 4th Street between Park Avenue and I-35W
- Norm McGrew Place between 3rd and 4th Streets.
It's always congested around the Metrodome, so the best advice is to park well away from the stadium . Interstates 394 and 94 offer direct access to Ramps A, B and C near Target Field and Target Center. From there, walk or catch a Metro Transit bus (Route 16 on 4th Street) or light rail train on 5th Street for 50 cents from your favorite ramp or lot. A reminder that the west platform at the Target Field light-rail station is closed.
It's also cheaper there as lots closest to the dome charge $20 or more. Here are links to downtown ramps, http://www.minneapolismn.gov/parking/ramps/index.htm.
Here is a link to downtown Minneapolis parking meters and rates, http://www.mplsparking.com/CurrentMeterMap.pdf
Parking for people with a handicap is available at the Hennepin County offices between 5th and 6th Streets on Park Avenue. Handicap street parking is also available between 3rd and 4th Streets on Chicago Avenue.
Arriving by light rail
The Metro Blue Line has been a popular way for fans to get to the game. But as game time approaches, cars are packed, so the best advice is to catch an early train. Blue Line trains stop directly across the street from the Metrodome.
Train riders can take advantage of free parking at the 28th Avenue, Fort Snelling and Lake Street/Midtown stations. Northbound trains run about every 7 to 10 minutes for most of the day.
After the game, Metro Transit will augment Blue Line service with buses that will take riders directly to the Fort Snelling and 28th Avenue Park & Ride lots. They will until post-game crowds have disbursed.
Regular rail fare of $1.75 after applies, or buy a 6-hour rail pass and avoid having to buy a second ticket to get back home.
New this year is the Metro Red Line. Connect to the Bus Rapid Transit line at the Mall of America. It runs from there to the cities of Apple Valley and Eagan. The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority provides local service to the Cedar Grove and Apple Valley Transit Stations
Metro Transit also will run a special Northstar Commuter train to the game. The train will leave Big Lake at 9:33 a.m. and arrive at Target Field Station at 10:22 a.m. Departure is one hour after the game ends. Here is a link to the schedule and fares.
Fans in the southwest metro can take advantage of express bus service offered by SouthWest Transit. Motor coach buses will depart from the new East Creek Station, as well as the Southwest Village Station in Chanhassen and the Eden Prairie Station. It's only $4.50 round trip.
The following Metro Transit routes serve the Metrodome:
From the north or south, Routes 5, 7, 14, 19 and 22
From the west, Routes 7 and 9
From the east, Routes 3, 16 and 94.
Outside bicycle parking is available cost free. The parking attendants at the loading dock entrance at 11th Avenue and 5th Street can direct you.
OTHER TRAFFIC GENERATING EVENTS/STREET CLOSURES
Hard to believe that hockey season is underway, but it is. The Wild host the Winnipeg Jets in a pre-season game at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. The city has information about 76 different parking locations near the arena.
Minneapolis Open Streets
The fourth in a series of Open Streets events takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Lowry Avenue between Vincent and Emerson avenues will be closed so citizens can walk, bike, skateboard and use wheelchairs to get around without having to deal with motorized traffic. Numerous family activities also will take place. See www.openstreetsmpls.com for details.
Minneapolis Parkway closures
A reminder that East Minnehaha Parkway is under construction from 28th Avenue to Cedar Avenue for the next two weeks.
Special events will shut down the following streets:
Streets and trails near Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis will be closed from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday for the Twin Cities Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Theodore Wirth Parkway from Hwy. 55 to Golden Valley Road from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for the City of Lakes Trail Loppet.
Lake Nokomis Parkway around the entire lake from 6 to 11 a.m. Saturday for the Dash for Dads.
The Women Run the Cities will affect West River Parkway from Plymouth Avenue to Godfrey Pkwy near Minnehaha Park, and portions of East River Parkway from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
METRO AREA ROAD WORK
Westbound I-694 between I-35W and Long Lake Road will be closed this weekend as crews continue repairing the concrete pavement on the roadway.
Restrictions go into effect at 7 p.m. Friday when the freeway will be reduced to one lane. Then at 10 p.m. the entire segment will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday. Ramps from northbound and southbound I-35W to westbound I-694 will also be closed starting at 7 p.m. Friday.
Detour: Northbound I-35W to westbound Hwy. 10 to westbound Hwy. 610 to southbound Hwy. 252 and back to westbound I-694.
A reminder that lane closures are possible in either direction of I-694 from Hwy. 252 and 35W as the pavement repair project continues. Several ramps along the stretch, including those at Central Avenue to westbound 694 are closed.
The northbound lanes of Hwy. 52 from Concord Street to I-94 in St. Paul. MnDOT crews will continue bridge inspection, which started last weekend. Highway closed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Northbound Hwy. 61 is a suitable alternate.
I-35W/35E in south metro
Repair work on the damaged Hwy. 13 bridge will bring a closure and detour on I-35W in Burnsville. On Saturday, the northbound lanes will be closed from the Burnsville Split and Hwy. 13 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Detour: Northbound on 35E to Cedar Avenue, then north to 494 and west to 35W.
On Sunday action shifts to the southbound lanes. The freeway will be reduced to a single lane from Hwy. 13 to the split from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Further to the south, I-35 is a single lane from County Road 70 to the Elko/New Market exit until November. In addition, northbound I-35 will be reduced to a single lane between County Road 50 and the I-35/35W/35E split. The lane closures are needed so crews can repair concrete pavement. All lanes are scheduled to re-open by 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23.
Expect delays on northbound I-35E bridge over the Mississippi River from Hwy. 13 and Shepard Road in St. Paul as crews replaced damaged sensors and spray discs that are used for anti-icing. The work runs from 6 to 11 a.m. Sunday.
Lane restrictions have been extended through Saturday in the vicinity of Keller Lake. MnDOT is finishing work on the new bridge that was to have been completed earlier this week. Intermittent lane closures in both directions will remain in place between Hwy. 61 and Edgerton Street until 5 a.m. Saturday.
Closer to Stillwater, motorists can expect delays at the Osgood intersection, especially eastbound drivers between Osgood and Hwy. 95 due to work on the new St. Croix River Crossing. Local traffic to businesses and residences can use the new extension of the S. Frontage Road.
Hwy 95 traffic near Hwy 36 has been shifted east on temporary pavement through fall 2013 while crews reconstruct and realign Hwy 95. The road continues to have a single lane in each direction.