MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was a day for fun and family at the Gopher game at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday. But getting to the game was challenging for some fans coming from the South metro.
“With all of the road construction going on nowadays between 169 and 35W it can make a lot of slowdowns for people, so we weren’t really sure what to expect,” Mike Busch, from Edina, said
A major stretch of 35W shut down between Highway 62 and Interstate 94. The closure comes as hundreds of thousands of people will be in or around downtown for four major events.
The closure falls on a weekend with a Gopher game, the Twin Cities Marathon, Twins games, and the Vikings will play at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday. There is also a Wild game in St. Paul Saturday night.
Governor Dayton said he had serious concerns. Minnesota House Transportation Finance Chairman Paul Torkelson (R) called it an action that “defies common sense.”
“This is the latest example of a government action that defies common sense,” Rep. Torkelson said in part. “MnDOT literally scheduled this on the worst weekend of the year.”
But MNDOT has defended its decision, saying any delays would have added costs to the $240 million project.
MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said in a statement in part: “In the Twin Cities metro area, we are dealing with a transportation system that is aging and needs significant preservation work. We regret that we will cause some Minnesotans significant inconveniences by closing the roadway this weekend.”
Still, drivers say they’re used to it.
“Hopefully people can find alternate routes to get around and just manage it the best they can,” Busch said.
The Minnesota Vikings are reminding fans who are going to the game Sunday to use highway 100 or 169 as a detour to downtown. The 35W closure will end on Monday before rush hour.