MINNEAPOLIS - Getting in and out of downtown Minneapolis is tricky these days as work continues on the I-35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown project.

This weekend, I-35W will close in both directions from 10 p.m. Friday, June 15 until 5 a.m. Monday, June 18 from I-94 to Hwy. 62. On the morning of June 18, I-35W will be reduced to three northbound lanes, including one MnPASS, and two southbound lanes until 2021.

Last weekend, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) closed the access from Interstate 35W north to Fifth Avenue and 11th and East Grant streets into downtown and Fourth Avenue and 12th Street from downtown to I-35W south. The ramp from I-35W north to 31st and Lake Street is closed to general traffic at least until fall 2018. The ramp from 31st Street to I-35W south is closed to general traffic at least until fall 2018.

Getting into downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:

  • Use the official detour that takes I-35W to Third Street
  • Take I-394 east into downtown
  • Take I-94 west to Fourth and Seventh Streets
  • Take I-35W south to Washington Avenue
  • Take Hiawatha Avenue to Seventh Street

Getting out of downtown Minneapolis, drivers can:

  • Take Fourth Street to I-35W
  • Take Third Street to I-94 west or I-394 west
  • Take Washington Avenue to I-35W
  • Take Sixth Street to I-94 east
  • Take Eighth Street to Hiawatha

In hopes of easing the pain, MnDOT is partnering with a handful of agencies to provide alternatives to getting into downtown.

  • Metro Transit is adding 50 bus trips and buses that normally take I-35W will use designated lanes on Park and Portland avenues to ensure timely trips.
  • Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is adding a route July 2 that will depart Eagan Transit Station and connect riders with transit options at 46th Street in Minneapolis, while avoiding I-35W.
  • Motorists can get a parking spot in MnDOT’s ABC ramps near Target Field for $20 a month with an approved carpool with a route that avoids I-35W.
  • Employers who offer telecommuting to their employees can connect with eWorkplace to help workers make the transition.
  • Additionally, earlier this year, MnDOT added temporary lanes on I-394 west to Highway 100, on Highway 62 west from Valley View Road to Highway 100, and will add a lane on I-35W north from 31st Street to Third Street.

“We thank Minnesota motorists for their patience as we make badly needed improvements to our aging roads and bridges in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area,” said Charlie Zelle, MnDOT Commissioner.

“In the next few weeks, 511mn.org is the best place for motorists to go find the best route and method to get in and out of Downtown from the south metro area," said Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

MnDOT is encouraging motorists to visit its new website detailing the road and bridge improvement projects underway across the Twin Cities metro. The Downtown to Crosstown project began in September 2017 and is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2021.

The Minnesota State Patrol will also step up "proactive enforcement" to make sure people do not speed through construction zones. Drivers can be fined up to $300 for breaking traffic laws in these areas.

The agency reported Tuesday that 41 people have been killed — and 3,900 people have been injured — in construction zones between 2012 and 2016, the latest data available.