As skateboarders and BMX bikers roll at this weekend's X Games at U.S. Bank Stadium, let's hope traffic in downtown Minneapolis does, too.
Motorists - many from out of town - will have to steer around large crowds and street closures in the vicinity of the stadium, including 4th Street, a key exit route for drivers heading for southbound I-35W, westbound I-94 and eastbound Hiawatha Avenue, so expect a ripple effect elsewhere downtown.
Transportation experts suggest taking transit, biking and parking at ramps on the west end of downtown and walking to the games are suggested to avoid getting caught in bottlenecks.
Highland Fest running Friday through Sunday will bring traffic to Ford Parkway and adjoining streets while Saints games home Friday through Sunday at CHS Field and a Lynx game Sunday will make downtown St. Paul busier than normal on a weekend.
X Games street closures:
- Chicago Avenue, 4th to 6th streets.
- 4th Street from Park Avenue to the U.S. Bank stadium loading dock.
- Park and Portland avenues from 4th to 5th streets.
Here is where you could find traffic tie-ups elsewhere:
Interstate 94 in Minneapolis and St. Paul
1. I-94 from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center: All vehicles over 9,000 pounds are prohibited from the Lowry Hill Tunnel which is reduced to two lanes in each direction with traffic sharing the eastbound lanes. The ramps from westbound 94 to westbound 394 and Hwy. 55 and from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94 are closed. Lane restrictions between I-35W and Hwy. 252/Shingle Creek Parkway.
2. I-94 from St. Paul to Maplewood: Eastbound has the left lane set aside for through traffic while the far right lane is for drivers who want to access local streets. Lane and restrictions and ramp closures between Century Avenue and Mounds Boulevard.
3. Cedar and Portland avenues: Closed between 28th and Lake streets.
4. 3rd Avenue S.: Single lane between 1st and 2nd streets Saturday and Sunday; lane closures on Washington Avenue between 3rd and 5th avenues S.
5. Hwy. 51/Snelling Avenue: Single lane in each direction between Como Avenue and Hwy. 36. Ramps from eastbound Hwy. 36 to northbound Hwy. 51 and northbound Hwy. 51 to eastbound Hwy. 36 closed until July 20.
6. I-35E in St. Paul: Lane restrictions in the vicinity of Shepard Road.
7. Hwy. 110 in Mendota Heights: Eastbound lanes closed between I-35E and I-494. Ramp from Hwy. 3/Robert Street to eastbound I-494 is closed through July 24. Westbound lane closures between Mendota Road and Delaware Avenue.
8. Hwy. 96 in White Bear Lake: Westbound is single lane between Centerville Road and White Bear Parkway.
9. I-35E in Vadnais Heights: Northbound reduced to two lanes from County Rd E to County Highway 96 starting at 7 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Update: MnDOT has called off this project and has not announced a new date. All lanes will be open.
10. Eastbound 694 in Shoreview: Restricted to two lanes separated by a concrete barrier between Hwy. 10 and I-35E. The inside lane carries through traffic and drivers must continue east on I-694. The outside/right lane allows access to local streets and drivers must continue south on I-35E. Westbound traffic is down to two lanes. The ramp from Rice Street to westbound 694 closed until the project is finished in October. The ramp from eastbound 694 to Lexington Avenue is closed.
11. I-35W at Hwy. 10 in Arden Hills: The ramps from westbound Hwy. 10 to northbound I-35W and northbound I-35W to County Road I are closed.
12. Hwy. 169 in Edina and St. Louis Park: The Nine Mile Creek bridge between Bren Road and Lincoln Drive/5th Street is closed and the highway is single lane between I-394 and Excelsior Boulevard. The ramp from westbound I-394 to southbound Hwy. 169 is closed through October. Ramp from Medicine Lake Road to south Hwy. 169 is closed.
13. 66th Street in Richfield: Closed to through traffic between Girard and Xerxes avenues S. The project extends from Xerxes Avenue on the west end to 16th Avenue South on the east end.
14. 86th Street in Bloomington: The overpass at I-35W is closed through October. Use 90th Street to cross.
15. Hwy. 13 in Burnsville and Savage: Lane closures in both directions between Hwy. 169 and Washburn Avenue.
16. Hwy. 55 in Inver Grove Heights: Lane restrictions in the vicinity of Argenta Trail.