With thousands of anglers heading for the lakes, the biggest traffic snarls this weekend may form outside the metro area. MnDOT has construction projects on popular escape routes.
The most ominous warning comes for drivers using Interstate 94 between St. Cloud and Collegeville. MnDOT says it expects big backups for westbound drivers on Friday as the freeway will be reduced to a single lane from Hwy. 23 and County Road 159. The trip home might not be pretty either as eastbound drivers will encounter intermittent lane closures between County Road 159 and Hwy. 15.
Other noteworthy outstate road projects include the closure of Hwy. 169 between St. Peter and Mankato and the single lane configuration on I-35 between Hinckley and Pine City north of the metro.
The exit ramp from eastbound I-394 to Dunwoody Boulevard will be closed as part of the Hennepin Avenue and Lyndale Avenue reconstruction project. Southbound Hennepin/Lyndale Avenues is reduced to a single lane between Dunwoody and Vineland Place; that's by the Walker Art Center.
Locally, along with the spate of other construction-related lane and road closures, traffic generating events include the Lynx-Phoenix Mercury game at Target Center and the Heart Walk along West River Parkway, both on Saturday.
Blue Line riders take note of a schedule change. Trains will run every 15 minutes, instead of every 10, between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Monday. The Green Line will run on a regular schedule.
Here is a rundown of major road work on tap for the weekend:
1. I-94 in Rogers: Both directions will be reduced to one or two lanes from Hwy. 101 to Hwy. 241 at times during non-rush hour 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: Traffic is sharing the southbound lanes between W. 36th Street and north of Hwy. 7 in St. Louis Park. It’s also reduced to two lanes in each direction from W 36th Street and Crosstown Hwy. 62. Look for ramp closures in the area as well.
4. I-35E: The freeway features single-lane traffic on the northbound side between County Road E and Goose Lake Road. This will last until late May. Motorists on Hwy. 96 will encounter single lane traffic between White Bear Pkwy and Centerville Road through mid-June. These ramps are closed: County Road E to northbound 35E, northbound 35E to County Road E, southbound 35E to Hwy. 96 and eastbound Hwy. 96 to northbound 35E.
5. I-694: Drivers should be on the ready for overnight lane closures between Dale Street and Lexington Avenue. Crews are preparing bypasses and crossovers ahead of work to add a third lane between Dale and Lexington.
6. 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 at the Hwy. 5 and 55 interchange, Mississippi Blvd. and Edgcumbe Road also are closed.
7. Hwy. 280: The highway is closed between Broadway Street and I-35W and lane reductions are in place between I-94 and Broadway Street for the next five weeks. The ramp from southbound I-35W to southbound Hwy. 280 also is closed. MnDOT is rebuilding the ramp from northbound Hwy. 280 to northbound I-35W. The department also will be doing a pavement rehabilitation project between Broadway Street up to I-35W.
8. I-94 St. Paul to Woodbury: The resurfacing project between E. 7th Street and Century Avenue. will last until the end of 2017. The newest closures include the ramp from Ruth Street to westbound I-94, White Bear Avenue to eastbound 94, Century Avenue to eastbound I-94 and westbound I-94 to Century. Also, the ramp from eastbound I-94 to E. 7th St. is closed until early June. To access downtown St. Paul, try 5th or 10th Streets.
9. I-94 in the Midway: Bridges over Cretin Avenue and Prior Avenue are closed. The Lexington Parkway bridge is supposed to open Friday.
10. Hwy 36 and Lexington Av.: MnDOT is replacing the overpass on eastbound Hwy. 36. Traffic is being diverted down the exit ramps and up the on ramps. Motorists can expect some overnight and off-peak lane closures as crews build a new bypass on the south side of the current interchange. Drivers needing to access Lexington can use Dale Street or Hamline Avenue and circle back to Lexington by using County Road B or C.
11. The Franklin Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is closed until Labor Day weekend.
12. Hwy. 8: The highway is closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia Township and downtown Taylors Falls.
13. Hwy. 212: Look for eastbound lane closures between County Road 43 in Carver and I-494 in Eden Prairie.