Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drivers traveling around the metro are having to give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations. Several of the major freeways in and around the Twin Cities are off limits until Monday’s morning rush hour.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has several road improvement projects in its lineup this summer.
We all know that during the summer months we have to deal with road construction. But this weekend, freeways north, south and west of the cities all have road closures.
The weekends are the time when crews are able to make some major headway on the improvement projects.
MnDOT shuts down those busy freeways without having as much impact on travel compared to a weekday.
This weekend is particularly bad in the northwest metro, thanks to the Interstate 694 north central upgrades.
Kevin Gutknecht is the director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“We really appreciate their patience because we know that it’s difficult,” he said. “We know we are providing some challenges, but ultimately we are taking care of their roads, the roadway system belongs to the public.”
Interstate 94 westbound is closed from Highway 394 to 100.
I-694 at 100 and 252 is closed and Highway 169 between 55 and 77th Avenue is shut down.
Drivers say it adds an extra 30 minutes or more to the drive.
Highway 169 is also down to a single lane in the south metro
and Interstate 35W between 13 and the 35E split are closed.
Gutknecht explained that while it’s a headache, weekends are better than weekdays.
“And when we do weekend work, we do it because ostensibly, less traffic, fewer people out driving because if you think about rush hour Monday through Friday — that would be pretty significant if we closed down major roads then,” he said.
There are still a lot of projects to be completed before summer’s over, so if you’re planning to travel on weekends, he suggests you check MnDOT’s website.
Most construction projects should wrap up by late summer or early fall.