Weekend traffic: Prepare for construction downtown, Lowry Tunnel

This weekend is set to be one of the busiest weekends of the summer in Minneapolis. With that, transportation officials say commuters should plan ahead due to significant road construction.

Minneapolis is expecting about a third of a million people for the Twin Cities Pride Festival, there’s a volleyball tournament at the Convention Center, and Earle Brown Days is planned in Brooklyn Center.

Construction begins along eastbound Interstate 94 and involves closing the Lowry Tunnel.

According to MnDOT Chief Engineer Scott McBride, the department will be closing down I-94 through the tunnel from Highway 55 to Interstate 35W, and both the blue and green lines downtown will close Thursday night.

It's all to install what Metro Transit calls direct fixation tracks.

"We have full accessibility to the rails, to underneath the rail, to all the clips holding the rail in place. And, it's a much more maintainable system," said John Humphrey with Metro Transit.

But, they'll take 11 days to install.

No matter where you turn in Minneapolis, you're likely to run into problems such as on 5th Avenue where in many sections, it’s down to one lane. Even eastbound Washington Avenue is closed at 3rd Street.

“We have a great partner with Uber and Lyft; they can bring you there," said Dot Belstler with the Pride Festival. “Allina Health sponsors our bike rack area in the park where we have bike valets, so you actually ride your own bike." 

Additionally, Nice Ride is dropping bike rental rates to just $1 for the first half hour this weekend.

"People just need to know this early, they need to plan ahead," Humphrey said.

Northbound Interstate 169 will also close this weekend from Highway 7 up to Highway 55.
It’s already 4-6 weeks behind, and the work needs to get done before October.