MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There’s much to marvel at the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center.

“There’s nothing like this where I’m from,” said Taylor Adkins, who was visiting Sunday from Kentucky.

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Nearby, a steel structure loomed, looking as though it was covered in a sleeping bag.

“To me, it looks like a manatee,” joked Kristen Sanders. “But, like, with the bridge coming out of its mouth.”

Workers were repairing and repainting the pedestrian bridge over Interstate-94, closing a crucial chunk of the highway between Interstate-394 and Interstate-35W.

It’s caused traffic backups, detours, and much reliance on GPS for Sanders, who drove all the way from Woodbury with Adkins.

Despite the headaches and delays, the garden had plenty of visitors Sunday. But they’ve haven’t flowed towards nearby Sisyphus Brewing as much as owner Sam Harriman would hope.

He feels construction is to blame.

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“Makes it tough just because people know there’s gonna be construction in the area, there’s gonna be traffic, so I think a lot of people avoid this kind of area when that’s going on,” he said.

He said Sunday sales were considerably slow compared to previous weekends.

Harriman can’t stop the road projects, but he can market around them.

Along Lyndale Avenue, just east of the Sisyphus, a custom sign reads: “Beer is better than traffic,” with an arrow pointing in the direction of the taproom.

Harriman said he used the sign when other construction projects caused traffic delays in the area and swears by its ability to lure in new customers.

“That’s really great for us because those are the kind of people we’re trying to connect with,” he said. “They’re sitting there in traffic, they’re getting frustrated but they have that sense of humor of like ‘yeah, you know what, beer would be better than traffic right now. I’m gonna go in there’.”

That stretch of I-94 reopens in time for Monday morning’s commuters. But it closes again for the next two weekends to finish the bridge repairs.

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Other projects start Monday morning as well, like the partial closing of the 12th Street ramp from downtown Minneapolis onto Interstate-35W. It will only be open to buses, carpools and motorcycles.

Jeff Wagner