By far the biggest traffic-generating event of the weekend will be the Vikings’ regular-season home opener Sunday against their arch rival, the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff for the prime time game is at 7:30 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
Metro Transit will have its full arsenal of trains and buses out to shuttle fans to and from the game. For those who use the Fort Snelling or 28th Avenue Park and Ride lots, Metro Transit has express buses to whisk you back to your car. Catch them on 4th Street to avoid riding in what the agency refers to “crush trains,” rail cars packed with up to 200 people each. Another good idea is to buy an All Day Pass which will allow you to skip the ticket lines when the game lets out.
Northstar trains will run for the game, departing Big Lake at 5:03 p.m. Green Line trains will be offline from 4:30 a.m. on Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday between Capitol/Rice Street and Union Depot stations in St. Paul.
Other events that will draw crowds include the Lynx game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Target Center and shows featuring country music superstar Blake Shelton Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Motorists driving on I-35W and I-35 around noon Saturday will encounter the Minnesota Special Olympics Truck Convoy. There will be more than 150 tractor trailers — a 2-mile long convoy — that will travel from the National Sports Center in Blaine to Wyoming and then turn around and head back to Blaine.
MnDOT will shut down the westbound lanes of I-694 from 10 p.m. Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday.
Big road project this weekend include:
1. I-494 in Plymouth/Maple Grove: 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. Expect off-peak lane and ramp closures on I-494 south of Hwy 55 through September.
2. Hwy. 10 in Anoka: Lane closures both directions between Sunfish Lake Blvd. and Fairoak Avenue.
3. Hwy. 100 in St. Louis Park: Lane restrictions in the vicinity of Hwy. 7 and Excelsior Blvd.
4. County Road 81 in Brooklyn Park: Single lane from 63rd Avenue to West Broadway Avenue (County Road 8).
5. I-694 in Brooklyn Center and New Brighton: Westbound lanes closed from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday between Hwy. 252 and I-35W for bridge painting.
6. I-35W in Mounds View: Lanes narrow in the vicinity of County Road H due to bridge construction. Left lane closed in both directions at County Road E2 until 2 p.m. Saturday.
7. I-694 in Shoreview: Westbound traffic has two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between I-35E and Lexington Avenue through November.
8. I-35E in the northeast metro: Intermittent lane closures between County E and Main Street. Single lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. County 96 is closed from Manning Avenue to Dellwood Road. Southbound between Hwy 96 and I-694 will be reduced to a single lane.
9. Hwy. 8 in Franconia: The highway is closed between the south junction of Hwy. 95 in Franconia and downtown Taylors Falls.
10. White Bear Avenue in St. Paul: Road work between I-94 to Beech Street and closed to all traffic between Wilson Avenue and 3rd Street.
11. I-94 from St. Paul to Maplewood: Three lanes open despite construction between Mounds Blvd. and Century Avenue. Occasional lane closures on the eastbound side. Both directions reduced to three lanes from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and reduced to two lanes from 8 to 10pm, then reduced to one lane from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday.
12 Hwy. 52 in St. Paul: Southbound closed between I-94 and Plato Boulevard Friday through Monday.
13. Hwy. 36 at Lexington Avenue in Roseville: Eastbound is still using a bypass at Lexington Avenue.
14. I-35E in St. Paul: Randolph Avenue bridge over 35E closed until late September.
15. Hwy. 5 in St. Paul: Single lane in each direction between Shepard Road and the Hwy. 5/55 interchange near Fort Snelling.
16. Washington Avenue in Minneapolis: Westbound lanes closed from Portland Avenue to Hennepin Avenue S.; 5th Avenue closed at Washington Avenue.
17. Hwy. 3 in Farmington: Alternating lane closures between Hwy 50 and 170th Street. Eastbound Hwy. 50 closed at Hwy. 3.