At least 15 parking ramps and lots in downtown St. Paul will be shut down during the Republican National Convention, city officials said Tuesday.

The ramps and lots immediately surrounding the Xcel Energy Center will be closed from Aug. 30 through Sept. 5. Some surface lots that will be used by convention staff and media will close July 20.

The closures will affect about 4,000 drivers. Those who have contract parking, about 2,000 people, have been told they'll be moved to other lots around the city and shuttled into downtown. The city asks that the other 2,000 drivers make other arrangements to get downtown during the convention.

St. Joseph's Hospital will keep its ramps open.

Under the first phase of the Police Department's traffic management plan, Interstate Hwys. 94 and 35E, Shepard Road, and Wabasha and Robert streets will remain open.

The second phase, which will include street closures, will be released in early August.

Details of the traffic access plan and other concerns will be addressed at two public meetings: Aug. 11 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Both meetings will be at room 40 of St. Paul City Hall.