It should be a hot weekend in Minneapolis with hot events to go with the sizzling temperatures. On Friday, Kenny Chesney brings his "No Shoes Nation Tour" Target Field while just blocks away thousands will rock out at the Basilica Block Party. The Aquatennial gets underway, too.

Lake Nokomis will be abuzz with activity as the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon steps off Saturday morning. Meanwhile, there will be more music as the Basilica Block Party rolls on with a second night of music.

Those crowd-drawing events will bring thousands into Minneapolis this weekend, so expect delays and full parking ramps and lots. Metro Transit will operate extra Northstar Commuter trains on Friday.  The agency will suspend overnight track work on the Blue Line Friday, but trains will be out of service Saturday and Sunday nights.

Road work won't take a break. Projects will close parts of Hwy. 169 and Hwy. 212 in the west metro while work on I-694 and I-35E continues.

Here is a rundown on getting around this weekend:

Parking in downtown Minneapolis could be at a premium with the Chesney concert expected to draw 40,000 fans, about as many or more than the average Twins game. With adjacent ramps A, B and C expected to be at capacity, a back-up option would be a good idea. The city of Minneapolis has extensive information about lots and ramps on its web site.  Gates open at 4 p.m. and the music at 5 p.m.

For those attending the Basilica Block Party,  parking is available for a fee at the Walker Art Center, Dunwoody Institute and other downtown area parking ramps. Free parking is available at the Minneapolis Community College Ramp with the purchase of a VIP ticket. Present your VIP ticket at the gate when entering the parking ramp.  The music starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m.

Expect heavy traffic in and around the two events, especially on Hennepin Avenue, 2nd Avenue, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th street and I-394.

These streets will be closed in downtown Minneapolis

4th Street South and 3rd Avenue South (near Minneapolis City Hall)

  • North and south bound 3rd Avenue will be closed to traffic. Drivers should follow posted detours.
  • Eastbound 4th Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic.
  • Streets and lane will reopen July 14 evening.

5th Street North between Third Avenue North and Sixth Street North (north of Target Field)

16th Street from Hennepin Avenue to Linden Avenue from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Metro Transit will run two special Northstar Commuter lines to get concertgoers to Target Field. Runs will leave the Big Lake Station at 3:06 p.m. and 5:06 p.m. Trips also will stop in Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids/Riverdale and Fridley stations.  A return trip will depart Target Field 30 minutes after the concert ends.

LifeTime Fitness Triathlon

About 3,000 athletes and thousands of spectators will descend on Lake Nokomis for the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon starting at 4:30 a.m.  Racers will start around 7 a.m.  The following roads will be closed during the competition and for clean up from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday:

* West River Parkway from Godfrey Pkwy to Portland Avenue

* Lake Nokomis Parkway around the lake

* All of West Lake Calhoun Pkwy.

Aquatennial Beach Bash

The Aquatennial brings the "Best Days of Summer" and  kicks off Friday and run through July 20. The Beach Bash featuring the Milk Carton Boat Races and sandcastle building competition will result in the closure of West Lake Calhoun Pkwy. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Blue Line Track work

Overnight maintenance work on Blue Line continues Saturday and Sunday. Buses will fill in for light-rail trains from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 a.m. Sunday between the 46th Street Station and Fort Snelling. Buses will replace trains from 7:30 p.m. Sunday to 3:30 a.m. Monday from the 46th Street Station to MSP Airport Terminal 2.

Weekend road work

Motorists will encounter a number of road construction zones while getting around the metro area, including some total weekend shut downs.

Highway 169

Resurfacing continues on southbound Hwy. 169 between County Road 81 and Hwy. 55. The highway through Brooklyn Park, New Hope and Golden Valley will shut down from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Additionally, the ramps from 85th Avenue to southbound Hwy. 169 also will be closed.  Motorists should use Hwy. 100 or interstates 694/94 and 494 as alternates.

In Bloomington, motorists on Hwy. 169 in both directions between Bloomington and Shakopee can expect delays. The left lane will close during non-peak hours for the next two weeks starting at 8 tonight. The lane restrictions will be in place from Stage Coach Road and Old Shakopee Road as MnDOT prepares crossovers ahead of maintenance work scheduled on the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. That will begin on July 26.

Highway 212

This will be the first of two weekend closures of a segment of Hwy. 212 through Eden Prairie for a resurfacing project. Westbound Hwy. 212 from the Crosstown and I-494 will close at 8 tonight and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday. The ramps from Shady Oak Road and Bryant Lake Drive to westbound 212 also will be closed.

Motorists will be detoured to Hwy. 169 and back to Hwy. 212 via I-494.

MnDOT will work on the eastbound lanes next weekend.

Highway 10 in Elk River

The highway is reduced to a single lane in both directions between Norfolk Avenue and 171st Avenue as MnDOT installs new drainage and makes improvements for pedestrians. I've seen major delays this week, so expect a good wait if you plan to travel through Elk RIver. That project has been extended through July 17.

Highway 36

Both directions of Hwy. 36 from Hwy. 61 to White Bear Avenue remain closed while work on a new interchange continues at English Street.  Also look for lane restrictions in the vicinity of Keller Lake near Hwy. 61 as bridge construction continues.

University Avenue

A repaving project on University Avenue that was to have started this week will now begin on Monday. MnDOT will pave the segment between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue NE. starting Monday.

Ongoing road projects

We've been used to these for a while, but for visitors coming into town this weekend, here is a reminder about big ongoing projects.

I-694 is down to a single lane in both directions from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday between Hwy. 252 and University Avenue in Fridley and Brooklyn Center. Be warned that the work zone could be expaned to near Central Avenue.  Ramps to access eastbound 694 from University Avenue and Central Avenue are closed.

I-35E is a single lane in each direction between Cedar Avenue and County Road 42. Next week, the work zone will be extended up to Diffly Road so get ready for that as you head back to work on Monday.

I-494 at 34th Avenue

Construction on the new Diverging Diamond Interchange has the ramp from westbound 494 to 34th Avenue closed. Motorists heading to Terminal 2 are being detoured to 24th Avenue, then back to 34th via Airport Road.

 Woodbury Drive

Woodbury Drive is now closed between Bailey Road and Antrim Road. The intersection of Woodbury Drive and Bailey Road is still open to traffic.

Woodbury Drive south of Park Crossing to south of Lake Road also is closed.

 Whiz Bang Days

Look for Victory Memorial Drive and Wirth Pkwy. north of Glenwood Avenue to be closed from 6 to 11 a.m. Saturday for the Robbinsdale Whiz Bang Days 5K and 10K races.










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Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute

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8 a.m. update: Wreck on Hwy. 55 in Plymouth