A host of changes are in store for I-35E drivers in St. Paul and the eastern suburbs as new lane configurations between Little Canada Road and Maryland Avenue will be phased in over the few days. Additionally a number of ramps along that stretch that have been closed since early spring will reopen while others will close.
To the north, MnDOT at 11 a.m. Friday closed the southbound lanes of I-35E between the Forest Lake Split and County Road E in Vadnais Heights, one of four major road closures that will impact metro area traffic through the weekend.
Motorists in the west metro face another weekend of road closures as MnDOT shuts down the southbound lanes of Hwy. 100 at the Crosstown Friday through Monday morning. Carpoolers heading to Saturday’s Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota won’t be able to use the reversible HOT lanes on I-394 between Hwy. 100 and downtown Minneapolis (See transit options below). Drivers in Eden Prairie can expect delays on Hwy. 212.
Off the mainline, fun and frivolity take over portions of Washington and 1st Avenues N. in the North Loop District as Minneapolis holds another edition of Open Streets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Also look for extra traffic in downtown St. Paul as the Saints have home games Friday through Sunday at CHS Field and the Foo Foo Fighters perform Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
Here are some road construction specifics:
I-35E: No two trips are likely to be the same, so the best advice for drivers is to pay close attention as they make their way through Little Canada, Maplewood and St. Paul. Traffic will gradually be switched over to the newly constructed southbound lanes. To do that, expect nightly closures in both directions from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Northbound I-35E also will be reduced to two lanes throughout the day on Sunday to move barrier and prepare for traffic shifts.
Ramps will begin opening on Monday and Tuesday. The ramp from southbound I-35E to southbound Hwy 52 will close Tuesday.
Hwy 100: Southbound Hwy. 100 over the Crosstown will shut down until 5 a.m. Monday. Additionally, the ramps from southbound Hwy. 100 to eastbound Crosstown and the westbound Crosstown ramp to southbound Hwy. 100 will be closed. Motorists should take westbound Crosstown to Hwy. 169, then circle back on westbound Crosstown to bypass the closure and return to Hwy. 100.
I-394: All general traffic lanes in both directions on I-394 will be open, but motorists can expect lane closures and delays between Hwy. 100 and downtown Minneapolis as crews continue sanding down the pavement. The reversible carpool lanes between Hwy. 100 and downtown Minneapolis will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday.
Hwy. 212: At Shady Oak Road, motorists will be routed up and down the exit and entrance ramps as crews take down part of the Shady Oak Road overpass. The work is expected to wrap up by 5 a.m. Monday.
Here are other places motorists will see cones and detours:
• Southbound Hwy 52 on the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul is reduced to a single lane between East 7th Street and Plato Boulevard until Monday.
• Lane and ramp closures along Hwy 5 and W. 7th Street between Fort Snelling and Davern Street in St. Paul.
• Hwy 212 in both directions at Shady Oak Road/County Road 61 from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
• I-494 in both directions between the Fish Lake Interchange in Maple Grove and I-394 in Minnetonka.
• Hwy 5 between East Scandia Road near Waconia and County Road 11 in Victoria is closed until September.
• Hwy 10 near Armstrong Boulevard in Ramsey. Armstrong Boulevard is closed north of Hwy 10 through October.
• Hwy 13 between 2nd Street and Lexington Avenue in Mendota and Lilydale. The detour is via Hwy. 110 and I-35E.
• Hwy 169 between Hwy 21 and Hwy 282 in Jordan is reduced to a single lane with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour through late October. Expect heavier volumes of traffic as this is the opening weekend of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee.
Getting to the Vikings game
Freeways and roads leading to the U are always crammed starting about 2 hours before kickoff, so best advice is to arrive early. Parking ramps and lots that are open to the public open around 1 p.m., six hours ahead of the 7 p.m. kickoff with the Oakland Raiders.
Fans without season parking passes can use the following spots:
• 4th St. Ramp – East Bank, 1625 4th St. SE, Minneapolis – $20 (no tailgating)
• Oak St. Ramp – East Bank, 401 Oak St. SE, Minneapolis – $20 (no tailgating)
• East River Road Garage– East Bank, 391 East River Parkway, Minneapolis – $10 (no tailgating)
Transit is a slick way to get to TCF Bank Stadium. The Green Line stops right outside the stadium at Stadium Village Station. That platform is always crowded, especially after the game. The East Bank Station at 551 Washington Avenue is just a couple blocks away and often less crowded.
Be sure to by an event pass when going to the game. That will allow you to board without having to stand in long lines to buy a return ticket.
Northstar Commuter rail service will be offered from Big Lake to Target Field Station. From there, fans can hop on the Green Line to complete their trip to TCF Bank Stadium. It's a free transfer. Northstar trains depart Big Lake at 4:23 p.m. and depart from Target Field Station 90 minutes after the game ends. This year, Northstar Link Commuter Bus will provide service to and from Big Lake and St. Cloud.