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St. Paul this weekend? Detours may not feel so good (so good ... so good)

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Motorists heading into St. Paul this weekend for events including a Neil Diamond concert will need to work around the closing of Interstate 94.

Minnesota's Department of Transportation announced Monday that I-94 will be closed in both directions from Friday night through Monday morning.

The closed area is centered on Snelling Ave. but will extend from the junction with Interstate 35E downtown to the intersection with Highway 280 in the Midway neighborhood.

As the Star Tribune notes, this weekend's closing will allow utility crews to relocate Xcel Energy's power lines in preparation for another project: replacement of the Snelling Avenue bridge over I-94.

The Pioneer Press says 137,000 vehicles per day travel on I-94 at Snelling.

While MnDOT's detour signs will direct motorists onto state highways 280 and 36 and I-35E, the Pioneer Press expects much of the local traffic will use the frontage roads or University Avenue.

Some may instead opt for public transit and ride the Green Line, which travels along University.

Xcel Energy Center has added a detour alert to its page promoting Sunday night's Neil Diamond concert, the Minnesota Swarm lacrosse team and the Minnesota Roller Girls roller derby teams, which will be in action downtown on Saturday.

A spokeswoman says Regions Hospital will use its website and social media to spread the word among patients and staff, the Pioneer Press reports.

MnDOT plans to finish replacing the Snelling Avenue bridge over I-94 in time for the State Fair in late August. It's part of a project that involves new pavement, sidewalks, landscaping, and bus rapid transit along Snelling.

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