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Road construction galore: What to avoid on your way to the cabin for July 4

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The July 4 holiday is expected to be the busiest for travel in the past eight years, and Minnesotans may experience a longer wait on the roads due to ongoing construction projects around the state.

“While we shut down many projects over the Fourth of July holiday, there are still many work zones around the state that will affect travel,” MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said in a news release. (See the list below.)

With the official Fourth of July holiday being Saturday, many people in Minnesota will have Friday off of work. That means people will likely leave sporadically throughout the day instead of waiting until the end of the workday – this will help alleviate some of the traffic headaches, Kevin Gutknecht, the director of communications for MnDOT, told BringMeTheNews.

But coming home Sunday will be a different story. As it is with most summer Sundays, traffic starts to pick up around mid-afternoon and becomes heavy in the evening, Gutknecht says. Expect traffic to be difficult on Interstate-94 southbound into the Twin Cities, and work zones on Interstate 35 from the south are expected to slow traffic down.

Here's a look at the ongoing roadwork that may affect your travel plans for the holiday weekend:

Twin Cities area

  • Interstate 494 in Plymouth: multiple lane and ramp closures.
  • Interstate 35E in St. Paul and Little Canada: lane and ramp closures.
  • Highway 5 between St. Paul and Highway 55: lane and ramp closures.
  • Highway 5 between Waconia and Victoria: road closed, detour in place.
  • Highway 100 in St. Louis Park: ramp closures and lane shift.
  • Highway 169 in Jordan: single-lane traffic in both directions, County Road 9 access closed.

Central Minnesota

  • I-94 between Rogers and St. Michael: lane shift, narrow lanes and reduced speeds, expect delays.
  • Highway 169 along south shore of Lake Mille Lacs: bypass lanes, traffic delays.
  • Highway 10 between St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids: all lanes of traffic will be open for the weekend.
  • Highway 12 between Atwater and Litchfield: detoured.
  • Highway 12 between Kerkhoven and Pennock: detoured.

Northern Minnesota

  • Highway 2 between Cass Lake and Ball Club: lane shifts, flagging activities, some delays.
  • Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes: single-lane traffic in both directions, expect delays.
  • Highway 2 (Bong Bridge) between Duluth and Superior: eastbound lanes closed, detour in place.
  • Highway 23 between Duluth and Duquette: single-lane, detour in place.
  • Highway 70 east of I-35: detour in place.
  • Highway 61 south of Grand Marais: single-lane bypass.

Southern Minnesota

  • Interstate 35 from Owatonna to Albert Lea: single-lane traffic in both directions, slow traffic.
  • Highway 63 south of Spring Valley to Iowa border: closed, detour in place.
  • Interstate 90 between St. Charles and Eyota: single-lane traffic in both directions, slow traffic.
  • I-90 near Alden, Jackson and between Adrian and Rushmore: two-way, two lane traffic with crossovers, ramp closures, reduced speeds.
  • Highway 59 in Marshall: short detour.

There is some good news if you're stuck in traffic on the way out of town for the weekend: You'll be paying some of the lowest gas prices for the July 4 holiday in years, AAA reports.

The average price for a gallon of regular-unleaded gasoline in Minnesota Wednesday was $2.642 – a year ago the average in Minnesota was $3.591, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report shows.

Minnesotans are paying slightly less than the national average of $2.763, the report shows.

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