Prepare for hellish traffic in downtown Minneapolis Friday evening

Ramp closures and multiple events will make driving difficult.
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If you're heading to downtown Minneapolis on Friday evening, you might want to take the bus or light rail.

Traffic is likely to be a nightmare owing to a series of major events – including a Vikings preseason game – coupled with ramp and road closures as part of the ongoing I-35W/I-94 interchange works.

Around 100,000 people are expected to descend on downtown for the following events on Friday.

– Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.

– Fight Night at the Armory, with Osseo boxer Caleb Truax among those in action, starting at 5:30 p.m.

– 100th National Convention of the American Legion, all day.

– Big 10 Volleyball Challenge at Target Center, featuring the Minnesota Gophers, starting 4:30 p.m.

That's not even counting the fact that tens of thousands of people will be traveling through the metro going to and from the Minnesota State Fair just across the border in St. Paul.

As for the roads, you won't be able to get into downtown through the 11th Street, 5th Avenue and Grant Street exits from I-35W north, which are also closed.

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Long-term closures include the northbound I-35W ramp to westbound I-94, and eastbound I-94 to southbound I-35W. 

And if you're leaving late on Friday night, watch out. Westbound I-94 will close between I-35W and I-394 at midnight, lasting till 7 a.m. Saturday.

Within downtown, there will be road closures around U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of the Vikings game starting at 1 p.m. with Chicago Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets, and Norm McGrew Place from 3rd to 4th Streets.

Then at 4 p.m., 4th Street will close between Park and I-35W, with 3rd Street converted to a two-way street so drivers can still get to the onramps to I-35W.

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