The always festive Cinco de Mayo celebration on St. Paul’s West Side is the biggest party on a weekend that otherwise is light on traffic generating events. A 5K run, parade and other festivities will result in the closure of Cesar Chavez Street between Wabasha to Anita streets Saturday. Traffic will be restricted on intersecting streets, too.
Downtown St. Paul could see an uptick in vehicles as the Festival of Nations rolls on at the RiverCentre. And look for extra traffic and pedestrians around Edina's Southdale Center on Sunday where the annual Race for the Cure will attract thousands.
For those of us not escaping to the cabin, motoring around the metro should be easier than last weekend as all major freeways and highways will be open. But drivers will encounter lots of construction and possible delays in work zones. Minnesota Department of Transportation officials remind motorists to slow down and pay attention when passing through construction areas. There were 1,684 crashes in work zones last year, officials said.
Metro Transit says the Blue Line will operate every 15 minutes, instead of every 10 minutes, in both directions all along the line to allow for maintenance work in the Terminal 1 - Lindbergh station tunnel from 8:30 p.m. Friday until 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, Prior Avenue and Lexington Pkwy. are closed.
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.