By far the biggest traffic event of the weekend will be the Minnesota State Fair, and a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Saturday has the potential to gum up traffic around the fairgrounds in St. Paul even further.
Road closures on Interstate 35E and Hwy. 100 could hamper driving to the fair and to downtown Minneapolis, where the red-hot Twins have a weekend series with the Houston Astros at Target Field and the Lynx have a game Sunday at Target Center. The Renaissance Festival will bring extra traffic to Hwy. 169 in Shakopee.
Northbound I-35E will be closed from I-694 up to Hwy. 96 in Vadnais Heights from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Drivers will be detoured via I-694 west to Hwy. 10, then north to I-35W and north to I-35E. Southbound motorists will find the ramp from I-35E to eastbound I-94 and southbound Hwy. 52 closed until November.
To get around that, MnDOT has opened the ramp from southbound I-35E to eastbound Hwy. 36 and is directing motorists east to 694. The situation along I-35E from Maryland Avenue to Little Canada Road will be constantly changing. Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures after midnight. Lane closures on westbound Hwy. 36 at I-35E will begin after 10 p.m., and lane closures on eastbound Hwy. 36 at I-35E will begin after 1 a.m.
On I-35W in Arden Hills, MnDOT will shut down the freeway in both directions at County Road 96 from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Freeway traffic will detour up and down the ramps at County Road 96 while crews take down the overpass. The ramp from eastbound I-694 to southbound I-35W will be closed from 9 a.m. Friday until Sept. 3.
In the west metro, another closure of Hwy. 100 is on tap. The northbound lanes will be shut down between I-494 and the Crosstown from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. The detour will take drivers east on I-494, then north on I-35W and west on Crosstown. Motorists can also go west on 494 to northbound 169, then east on the Crosstown.
Here are some other places motorists will find cones and detours:
• Hwy 5 from Davern Street in St. Paul and Fort Snelling will have lane and ramp closures. West of the metro, the highway is closed between East Scandia Road near Waconia and County Road 11 in Victoria until September.
• I-494 in both directions between the Fish Lake Interchange in Maple Grove and I-394 in Minnetonka.
• 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 traffic because the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee begins this weekend.