The weekend calendar is chock full with large events that have the potential to spawn big time traffic jams, especially in downtown Minneapolis where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pays a rare visit to the state Friday.
His invitation only "Trump Victory Fund" fundraiser at the Minneapolis Convention Center is set to start during the peak of the evening rush hour. About the same time,expect another burst of traffic as thousands will descend on U.S. Bank Stadium where country singer Luke Bryan takes the stage at the $1 billion home of the Minnesota Vikings. Metallica takes over the stadium's stage Saturday night.
Some streets immediately around the stadium will be closed for the shows, including 4th Street between Park Avenue and I-35W, and Chicago Avenue between 4th and 6th streets. Compounding the traffic flow is the ongoing closure of westbound Washington Avenue from Portland Avenue to 2nd Street S.
The city will deploy 17 traffic control agents and two supervisors both nights to help keep traffic around the stadium moving,
In Shakopee, Saturday marks the opening of the Renaissance Festival, which will bring extra traffic to Hwy. 169.
There is no late summer lull in the road construction department. The eastbound lanes of I-694 will be closed for bridge painting from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday between East River Road and I-35W. Bridge work also will bring a closure on northbound 35W will be closed overnight Saturday from I-694 to County Road H.
MnDOT warns travelers to expect heavy traffic on all highways leading to Duluth where the Tall Ships festival runs through Sunday. And from the State Patrol: Drive sober. A DWI enforcement campaign begins Friday and runs through Sept. 5.
Transit riders have a new way to get between the Mall of America, Burnsville Transit Station and Marschall Road Transit Station in Shakopee. The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority launches Route 495 on Saturday with 39 trips (18 southbound and 21 northbound) operating seven days per week, between about 4 a.m. and midnight.
Here is your weekend road construction roundup:
1. I-494 in Plymouth: 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. Ramp closures: Westbound 394 to southbound 494 and southbound 494 from Carlson Pkwy. Other ramps south of Hwy. 55 are open.
2. Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park: The highway is open in both directions. A temporary ramp from southbound 100 to 36th Street/Excelsior Blvd. is set to open Friday.
3. I-694 in Fridley: Eastbound lanes closed for bridge painting from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday between East River Road and I-35W.
4. I-35W in Arden Hills: Northbound lanes closed from 10 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday from I-694 to County Road H.
5. I-694 in Shoreview: Westbound traffic has two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between I-35E and Lexington Avenue. Ramp from westbound 694 to Rice Street and Lexington Avenue closed.
6. I-35E in the northeast metro: Intermittent lane closures between County roads 96 and J. County 96 is single lane from Centerville Road to White Bear Parkway.
7. Hwys. 61 and 97 in Forest Lake: Highway 61 is single lane between the south intersection of Hwy 97/ Scandia Trail N and 202nd Street.
8. Hwy. 8 in Franconia: The highway is closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia and downtown Taylors Falls.
9. I-94 from St. Paul to Maplewood: The left westbound lane between Mounds Blvd and Century Ave. is permanently closed through late August. The left eastbound lane is closed most weekdays and Saturdays through mid-September.
10. Hwy. 36 at Lexington Avenue: Lane shifts at Lexington Avenue. The ramp from Dale Street to westbound Hwy. 36 is closed as are all ramps at Lexington Avenue under Hwy. 36.
11. I-35W in Minneapolis: The following bridges over I-35W have lane closures: Westbound Hennepin Avenue, eastbound Broadway Street and northbound Johnson Street.
12. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis: The bridge over the Mississippi River is closed until Labor Day. Nearby: Minnehaha Avenue southbound open only from 27th Street to Lake Street and both directions closed 34th Street to Lake Street.
13. Hwy. 5 in St. Paul: Single lane in both directions over the Mississippi River from Hwy. 55 and Davern Street until November.
14. Hwy. 13 in Lilydale: Closed between Wachtler Avenue and Sylvandale Road until Sept. 2.
15. Hwy. 3 in Farmington: Alternating lane closures between Hwy 50 and 179th Street.
16. Hwy. 61 in Denmark Township: Crews are prepping the road for construction in both directions of Hwy 61 from just north of Hwy 10 in Cottage Grove to just south of 127th St. in Hastings.