The Timberwolves open their 2012-13 season tonight at Target Center so look for extra traffic in downtown Minneapolis. Outside of that, there are no major events in town that will disrupt traffic this weekend.
A few road projects might, but in other cases work has wrapped up which is cause for celebration. And getting out of town should be easier for those heading north as a major construction project is put on hold.
Keep this in mind: In conjunction with this weekend's wolf and deer hunting openers, the Minnesota State Patrol will launch "Blaze Orange Friday" today and tonight..
Troopers will have an added presence all along Hwy. 169 in an effort to remind motorists to pay attention, drive at safe speeds, wear their seat belts and plan for a sober ride. You've been warned.
Here is a guide for planning your weekend travels:.
Drivers heading northwest won't have to deal with the single lane construction on Interstate 94 between Clearwater and St. Cloud. WIth the Department of Natural Resources' first wolf hunt kicking off Saturday, MnDOT is suspending its work on the 7-mile segment today through 6 a.m. Monday. It's all lanes open for the entire weekend.
Motorists heading through Hugo might experience delays today. MnDOT is installing loops that direct traffic between Hugo and 152nd Street. Vehicles will pass by on the shoulder until the work is complete around 5 p.m. today.
Also look out for crosswalk work between Buffalo Street and Hwy. 96. That, too, is expected to be done by 5 p.m. today.
New runway towers and lights are going up at the MSP Airport and that will affect traffic on Hwy. 5. The right lane and shoulder of eastbound Hwy. 5 will be closed from 7 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. Saturday from Post Road and Glumack Drive, the main entry to the airport.
It's back to full strength on Nicollet Avenue between Lake Street and W. 36th Street. A paving project that also included removing and replacing the pavement, curb and gutter, driveways, sidewalks and storm drains is supposed to wrap up by the end of the day.
A permanent signal at 35th Street is also to be operational by the end of today.The one at 34th Street might not be up and working until sometime next week.
Highway 169 and 494
Some big changes are in store for drivers who use ramps and frontage roads at and near the intersection of 169 and 494 in Eden Prairie.
On Monday, weather permitting, here is what will happen:
Marth Road, which runs parallel to 494 on the freeway's south side, will reopen as will the ramp from Marth to eastbound 494. A new roundabout at the intersection also will open.
Drivers who use Washington Avenue/W. 78th Street south of 494 will be able to cross under Hwy. 169.
Also scheduled to open are a ramp from Washington Avenue to southbound Hwy. 169 and a ramp from eastbound 494 to W. 78th Street/Washington Avenue. Note: Signs on 494 will identify the new exit as Washington Avenue with no reference to W. 78th Street.
With all those openings, access to 169 at Highwood Drive will be shut off. A cul-de-sac will be built there. Drivers on northbound 169 will be ruoted to the new roundabout and frontage road, so they can still exit the highway before getting to 494.
This is the last weekend to take one of those green bikes for a spin. Nice Ride, the popular bike-sharing program, will stop renting bikes at 10 p.m. Sunday. Users can still return bikes after 10 p.m., but stations will be locked to prevent further rentals.
Crews will pick up the bikes next week. Look for two-wheelers to return to the streets in early April.