The shut down of two - yes two - segments of I-35E this weekend will likely throw motorists and their' GPS systems into a tizzy as they search for alternate routes to send them around the closures and away from prescribed detours that feature constructions zones of their own.
Both directions of I-35E between I-94 in downtown St. Paul and Shepard Road will be shut down from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. The official detour takes northbound drivers along I-494, Hwy. 61 and westbound I-94, which has one lane shut down from Century Avenue to Mounds Blvd. Southbound drivers can use Hwy. 52 to I-494.
A few miles up the road, the I-35E will be blocked from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday between County Road E in Vadnais Heights and County Road 14 in Hugo. Motorists are directed to use I-35W, which has lane restrictions at County Roads E2 and H due to bridge work. Scooting over to Hwy. 61 could be a viable move.
In the west metro, another shut down of northbound Hwy. 100 through Edina, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley is on tap. Work also continues on I-494 in Plymouth and Maple Grove.
Leaving town might not provide much relief, either. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is warning about backups and slow traffic on I-35 between Twin Cities and Duluth as thousands head to the Twin Ports for Grandma's Marathon. Look for single lane traffic in each direction between Hwys. 23 and 48 due to bridge repair.
Motorists heading south won't escape delay either. MnDOT Interstate 35 motorists will encounter lane closures and possibly traffic backups through July 11 between Northfield and Elko while crews complete a bridge painting project. Going northwest? Construction will slow down drivers on I-94 in Rogers and from St. Cloud to Collegeville.
Here in town, the North Star Bicycle Festival grand prix races will bring road closures Friday night around 31st Street and Hennepin Avenue in Uptown and in downtown Stillwater on Sunday. The Twins host the Yankees at Target Field Friday through Sunday. Pop megastar Justin Bieber pays a visit to Target Center Sunday night. And in what might be the biggest traffic generating event of the weekend, thousands will descend on the State Fairgrounds and Snelling Avenue for the annual Minnesota Street Rod Association's Back to the 50s weekend.
Here is where you encounter cone zones and possible traffic snarls:
1. I-94 in Rogers: Both directions will be reduced to two lanes from Hwy. 101 to west of Hwy. 241 through June 22 during non-peak periods.
2. I-494: Traffic between Fish Lake Road in Maple Grove and Hwy. 55 in Plymouth has been shifted to the southbound side of the freeway and is reduced to two lanes each direction until Nov. 4. There are several ramp closures at the I-394 and County Road 6 and Carlson Pkwy. interchanges.
3. Hwy. 100: At 10 p.m. Friday, all northbound lanes between the Crosstown and I-394 will shut down until 5 a.m. Monday. Follow the detours to Hwy 169 or I-35W to bypass the closure. Southbound lanes will remain open, but are reduced to two lanes from W. 36th Street and Crosstown Hwy. 62.
4. I-35W in Arden Hills: Watch for narrow lanes and lane shifts in both directions in the vicinity of County Road H. Bridge construction also will constrict traffic flow at County Road E2
5. I-694: Westbound lanes are split with a concrete median between I-35E and Lexington Avenue.The ramp from Rice Street to westbound I-694 is closed until November.
6. I-35E in northeast metro: Both directions between County Road 14 and County Road E will close at 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. Motorists are advised to follow the posted detour using I-35W. The Hwy. 96 bridge between Centerville Road and White Bear Parkway also will close.
7. Hwy. 61: Both directions between the north intersection of Hwy 97/Scandia Trail and 202nd Street are down to a single lane.
8. Hwy. 8: The highway is closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia Township and downtown Taylors Falls. The road is open to local traffic.
9. I-35E in St. Paul: Both directions will be closed between I-94 and Shepard Road from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. The official detours: Northbound I-35E: Eastbound I-494 to northbound Hwy. 61 to westbound I-94. Southbound I-35E: Eastbound I-94 to southbound Hwy. 52 (Lafayette Bridge) to westbound I-494. Crews will remove pavement from the St. Clair Avenue bridge so the deck can be repaired. The St. Clair Ave. bridge is closed through late-July.
10. Hwy. 36 and Lexington Avenue: Traffic has been shifted to the new bypass on the south side of Hwy. 36 as crews replace the current overpass with two new ones. The ramp from Dale Street to westbound Hwy. 36 is closed as are all ramps at Lexington Avenue under Hwy. 36.
11. Hwy. 280: Closed between Broadway and I-35W and lanes reduced between I-94 and Broadway until mid July while the Hwy. 280/35W interchange is rebuilt.
12. I-35W in Minneapolis: The following bridges over I-35W have lane closures until late June: Eastbound Hennepin Avenue, Westbound Broadway Street and southbound Johnson Street.
13. Hwy. 5: Traffic is sharing the eastbound side of the bridge as crews rebuild the westbound side. It’s single lane traffic between Davern Street and Hwy. 55 through November. Some ramps are closed.
14. I-94 St. Paul to Maplewood: The resurfacing project between E. 7th Street and Century Avenue will last until the end of 2017. The left lane on westbound I-94 from Century Avenue to Mounds Blvd. is closed.Ramp closures include: White Bear Avenue to westbound I-94, McKnight Road to eastbound I-94, Hwy 61 to eastbound I-94 and eastbound I-94 to East 7th St. The connection from northbound Hwy. 61 to westbound I-94 is reduced to a single lane.
15. Randolph Avenue in St. Paul: Closed between Lexington Parkway and I-35E for approximately one month.
16. The Franklin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is closed until Labor Day weekend.
17. Minnehaha Avenue is closed between 34th and 38th streets in south Minneapolis. In downtown, detours and lane closures are in place along portions of 3rd Avenue S., primarily between 11th Street and Washington Avenue. The intersection of Washington and Marquette avenues will be closed for utility work Friday through Monday.