MINNEAPOLIS - A whole lot of motorists in the metro will have to find alternate routes this weekend, with I-35W closing in both direction from I-94 to Highway 62.
MnDOT says the closure will start at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, as crews get ready to demolish the Franklin Avenue bridge. I-35W is set to reopen by Monday, Oct. 2 at 5 a.m.
The on and off ramps will begin closing around 9 p.m. Friday.
Drivers will be detoured using I-394, Highway 100 and Highway 62.
“The redesign of the I-35W corridor through Minneapolis is a very complex project, and the work we accomplish this weekend is necessary to keep it on schedule and any delay would add significant costs to the project," said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle.
The closure comes on a weekend full of sporting events in the Twin Cities. The Vikings, Twins, Lynx and Gophers are all in action. Plus, there's The Twin Cities Marathon.
“I have spoken with MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle to express my serious concerns about the potential disruptions, caused by this highway closure, on so many Minnesotans traveling to and from downtown Minneapolis and throughout the metropolitan area this weekend," said Gov. Mark Dayton. "I have directed MnDOT to ensure that the alternate routes and accommodations they have arranged are communicated clearly to event organizers and the public, to reduce the impacts on Twin Cities drivers this weekend.”
“We have been concerned about this long-planned closure because we know there are many people who will travel to downtown Minneapolis this weekend for major events. We know this is an extremely busy stretch of roadway and a key access point to Minneapolis and points beyond," added Zelle. “We have worked hard to communicate with the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins, the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities Marathon well in advance so they have time to alert their patrons about the closure."
This isn't the only time this closure will take place. The same stretch of 35W will also close the weekend of Oct. 6-9, to complete the Franklin Avenue bridge demolition.
MnDOT says the Portland Avenue bridge spanning I-94 will also close Saturday, Sept. 30 at 5 a.m. It will remain open to pedestrians, bikers and first responders. All other motorists are advised to follow the posted detour, using 15th Street to Chicago Avenue to Franklin Avenue.
More information about these closures and the larger four-year 35W@94 reconstruction project is available on the MnDOT website.