By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the Super Bowl just weeks away, we are already seeing changes to downtown Minneapolis.

The Super Bowl countdown clock says we are 22 days away from the big game. But a lot of the road closures and detours are already starting this weekend.

Just when you thought you got used to the buses being back on Nicollet Mall after a nearly two year construction hiatus, there’s a new detour.

“The Super Bowl is an event and it’s not just a game, it’s a 10 day event,” Howie Padilla with Metro Transit said.

That means buses that usually run on Nicollet Mall are being rerouted west to Hennepin Avenue. All together 38 routes will be affected by closures for Super Bowl related events.

“A lot of us toured Houston when they had the Super Bowl down there and saw what they did and again, they wanted to do it safely, efficiently,” Padilla said.

There are several road closures happening this weekend

The American Birkebeiner International Bridge — or the Birke Bridge — is being built on Nicollet Mall, closing down Ninth Street from Marquette to Lasalle both Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ve always said that we were going to embrace February in Minnesota, we’re calling it the the Bold North, and this is how we’re going to showcase all those winter sports that we love to enjoy,” Super Bowl Host Committee Vice President of Communications Andrea Mokros said.

And heads up Vikings fans — both the Purple and Gold tailgate lots are closed for Sunday’s game against the Saints for more preparations for Super Bowl 52.

“Three years of planning really comes down to the next three weeks of execution,” Mokros said.

“Take some time, plan your trip and you know what? We’re all going to get through this. And I think when we’re done with this, we’re all going to look back and say, you know what, thank goodness for all that planning,” Padilla said.

On Monday, Eighth Street from LaSalle to Marquette Avenues will also close as crews begin installing the Super Bowl LIVE stage.

With all the road closures several dozen bus routes will be affected. You can find information on all the detours by clicking here.

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