Bridge repairs on a major south metro span across the Minnesota River left southbound commuters seeking new routes Saturday, the first day of a disruption on Cedar Avenue that is expected to last throughout the month.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge work has shut down the southbound lanes of Cedar Avenue between Old Shakopee Road and Hwy. 13 for 10 days while workers paint and repair the 36-year-old bridge and install new guardrails. That closure is scheduled to last through June 15. Ramps at Lindau Lane, Killebrew Drive and Old Shakopee Road to southbound Cedar are also closed.
Then, from June 19 to 30, the northbound lanes will be closed.
Taking out one of the few river crossings in the south metro will send thousands of motorists onto the prescribed detour along Interstates 35E and 494. Commuters can also expect increased traffic on I-35W as other thoroughfares are disrupted.
North-south thoroughfares such as Lexington Avenue and Pilot Knob Road may see extra traffic as drivers use those routes to connect with I-494 to cross the river.
Bus riders will also feel the brunt of the work. The Metro Red Line will run at 30-minute intervals instead of the normal 15 minutes on weekdays. Express buses — especially those running between downtown Minneapolis and Apple Valley and Eagan — also will be on detour, and riders should plan on them running late, said Robin Selvig, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority spokeswoman.
Other big construction zones include I-35E between Little Canada Road and downtown St. Paul, and W. 7th Street between Fort Snelling and Davern Street.
Further complicating weekend traffic are high-attendance events such as Grand Old Day on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and the first Minneapolis Open Streets event of the season, on Lyndale Avenue S. between 22nd and 42nd Streets. Both are Sunday. The Edina Art Fair also runs through Sunday.
Hit-and-run kills pedestrian
A pedestrian was struck by a motorcycle Friday night in south Minneapolis and died of his injuries Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
A motorcyclist hit the victim about 10:30 p.m. at Cedar Avenue and 27th Street E., then fled, heading south on Cedar, police say.
The victim was alert and speaking to officers, police spokesman John Elder said. But after being brought to Hennepin County Medical Center, staff "found he had far more serious injuries than originally believed," he said.
The man, in his 50s, died Saturday afternoon. His identity will be released at a later time.
Witnesses said the suspect — described as a light-haired man in his 30s — was driving a black motorcycle with high handlebars. Police are asking people with information to call 1-800-222-8477 or 612-692-8477.
Staff writer Jenna Ross contributed to this report.