Like the Drive, commuters may have missed the news that one northbound lane on the Lafayette Bridge was scheduled to be closed Monday morning, and that made for an unpleasant surprise for those who use Hwy. 52 to reach downtown St. Paul or I-94.
Get used to it for a few more days. Traffic will be slimmed down to one lane until 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Last week MnDOT held a celebration to mark the completion of the two 3,200-foot bridges that connect downtown St. Paul with the West Side and southern suburbs. At the event, officials said there still was work to be done, but indicated that motorists would not see any more lane closures.
Well, not exactly. On Friday MnDOT put out an advisory on its website announcing the lane closures
"All the lane closures are not done for the season unfortunately," said Kent Barnard, a MnDOT spokesman. "I hope it is very soon however."
MnDOT had to pick a day to mark the completion of the $130 million project, even though it did not have an exact date as to when everything would be done. The agency said crews would be wrapping up work on abutments and sidewalks and clear away the last of the old bridge over I-94 over the next few weeks.
For now, MnDOT is telling motorists to "watch for delays" on the Lafayette Bridge as the northbound side is reduced to a single lane until 5 p.m. Wednesday. In addition, the ramp from northbound Hwy. 52 to eastbound I-94 is closed until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The posted detour is to use eastbound I-494 to northbound Hwy. 61 to eastbound I-94.
Now for a bit of good news: The ramp from Plato Boulevard to northbound Hwy. 52/Lafayette Freeway is open.