Construction, concerts and more promise weekend of metro traffic snarls

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What do you get when you combine construction projects with a bevy of events and attractions in the Twin Cities in one short weekend?

Traffic. A lot of it.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is shutting down a number of roads and highways in the metro starting Friday night, with some of the closures lasting until the end of the month.

Here's a snapshot of just a few of the closures happening around town, and the events sure to make them more hectic this weekend:

Highway 77

At 7 p.m. Friday, construction will close the northbound lanes on a a stretch of Highway 77 connecting Eagan and Bloomington (home of Mall of America) over the Minnesota River – the road will stay shut down until June 29, according to MnDOT. The route includes the Cedar Avenue bridge.

This marks the second closure of Cedar Ave this month, and the detours away from the bridge promise to send a lot of extra traffic to Interstates 35-East and 494 as well as side roads, KSTP reports.

Interstate 394

KSTP says driving with one or more passengers won't get you any breaks on I-394 between Highway 100 and I-94, as crews are repaving the carpool lanes there starting at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Snelling Avenue 

An ongoing headache for drivers making their way through St. Paul is the closure of Snelling Avenue over I-94, which won't re-open until late August, MnDOT says.

The Star Tribune points out that this could make life difficult for those trying to get to the Back to the 50s classic car show on the State Fair grounds, one of many events happening through the weekend.

According to the paper, other goings on in the Twin Cities include a concert by country singer Luke Bryan at TCF Bank Stadium, the North Star Grand Prix bike race, and a Lynx home game at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Also happening is the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, which touts itself as a "weekend of art and music" on the Mississippi River, and Rock the Garden, which is two days of concerts in the Walker Art Center's famous sculpture garden.

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