Runners who finish Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon will be rewarded with a medal. Drivers who battle the expected traffic and parking crunch should get one, too.
The race on Sunday and associated events on Saturday come with several street closures around the State Capitol finish line in St. Paul and the starting line in downtown Minneapolis. Add in a Wild hockey game Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center and a Hocktoberfest street party on 7th street and a performance of “Sesame Street” Sunday at the X and there is the potential “for a real mess,” said Steve Linders of the St. Paul Police Department.
With 100,000 people taking in the events, traffic will be heavier than usual and parking will be more limited than on most weekends in St. Paul, he warns.
For those who drive, the city has an interactive parking map that shows ramps and lots available. But “visitors to downtown St. Paul on Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend are strongly advised to use public transportation and plan ahead for their travel to downtown St. Paul,” said race spokesman Charlie Mahler.
Transit users will need to be on alert as several bus lines will be rerouted in both Minneapolis and St. Paul at times as runners make their way from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. Metro Transit has placed red rider alert signs along affected routes to direct passengers to alternate bus stops while streets are closed on Sunday.
In Minneapolis, where the race starts, street closures begin Sunday at 5 a.m. around US Bank Stadium and will begin reopening at 9 a.m. Rolling closures and reopenings along the 10-mile and full marathon course will be in place from 7:30 a.m. until the event ends at 2:15 p.m. The Franklin Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To cross the race course without delays, take through city streets to freeways or use thoroughfares such as Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. In St. Paul, Summit Avenue will be closed from Snelling Avenue to the capitol.
It’s Homecoming at the U, so expect more traffic than usual this weekend and around TCF Bank for the Gopher-Hawkeye football game Saturday night.
Here are some other noteworthy construction zones:
1. Interstate 35W: The freeway is reduced to two southbound lanes from downtown to 43rd Street. Northbound is two lanes plus a MnPASS lane up to 31st Street, then third general traffic lane open to 3rd Street. MnPASS northbound open to 31st Street. This set up will be in place until late 2019. Ramps from northbound I-35W to 11th Street and 5th Avenue from 12th Street/4th Avenue to southbound closed.
2. Interstate 94: Reduced to two lanes between Chicago and Portland Avenues.
3. Hennepin Avenue S.: Closed from Lake to 36th streets.
4. NE. Broadway Street: Closed from Stinson Boulevard to Industrial Boulevard until fall.
5. Wabasha Street: Wabasha Street closed from Plato Boulevard to Cesar Chavez Street.
6. Hwy. 149/Smith Avenue: The High Bridge over the Mississippi River is closed until December. Watch for closures and flaggers on Hwy 149 between Hwy 3 and Rich Valley Boulevard in Mendota Heights.
7. Interstate 35 in Forest Lake: Southbound reduced to two lanes from Hwy. 8 to Hwy. 97. Northbound width restriction of 12 feet and periodic lane closures
8. Hwy. 10 in Elk River: Reduced to one eastbound lane and two westbound lanes between Waco Street and Upland Avenue.
9. Hwy. 610 in Maple Grove: Reduced to one eastbound lane between I-94 and Elm Creek Boulevard.
10. Interstate 35W in Roseville: Ramps from southbound Cleveland Avenue to eastbound Hwy. 36, eastbound Hwy. 36 to northbound Cleveland Avenue, eastbound Hwy. 36 to northbound I-35W and both directions of I-35W to southbound Cleveland Avenue and County Road B will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday. Freeway redueced by one lane in both directions between 4th Street in Minneapolis to County Road C.
11. Interstate 35W in Blaine: Off-peak night time lane closures in both directions between Mounds View and Blaine.
12. Hwy. 3 in Inver Grove Heights: Closed between County Road 26 and 60th Street.
13. 66th Street in Richfield: Closed to through traffic between Humboldt and Portland avenues S.
14. Interstate 35W in Bloomington: Alternating lane closures in both directions between Cliff Road and 106th Street daily. After 10 p.m. the freeway may be reduced to a single lane through 6 a.m. the following day.
15. Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie: Closed from Hwy. 101 to Spring Road.
16. Crosstown Hwy. 62 in Edina: Watch for single lane closures in both directions during the day and overnight from I-494 to Hwy 100.