MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation called Thursday the perfect storm for traffic delays.
“Highway 10 up through Coon Rapids was ugly,” said Vikings fan Keven Perry.
From late afternoon to late Thursday evening, it was estimated that nearly a quarter-million drivers would be on Twin Cities roadways.
“Just talking to my daughter, she said there was a Gopher game, a Twins game, a Vikings game and a Saints game,” Perry said.
Throw in plenty of road construction, and this thing called the Minnesota State Fair, and it was no ordinary rush hour.
“It was more than an hour to just make a trip that was normally 20 minutes,” said Vikings fan Matt Sharp.
This was a new challenge for Minneapolis, Metro Transit and MnDOT.
“It usually doesn’t happen because in the past, a lot of those teams have shared stadiums, so you couldn’t have this many going on at the same time,” said Kirsten Klein of MnDOT.
There was a time when the Vikings, Twins and Gophers all shared the Metrodome. Thursday night, each played in their own stadium.
The congestion was likely helped though because Metro Transit had 81 light rail cars in operation and was staying plenty busy.
MnDOT was also able to keep an eye on things around I-35W, I-94 and University Avenue by monitoring their 200 traffic cameras. Traffic lights could be tweaked to help.
Still, it was an evening that tested the patience of all kinds of sports fans.
“We used some side routes and I used the GPS, but it was still bad traffic even where we were going,” said Twins fan Dave Tomlinson. “We got stuck several times.”
We did talk with a couple people off camera who told us it was rough at times, but only a little bit worse than a normal rush hour. It depended on where you were going and what roadways you were taking.