Expect delays: Winter's over, so billion-dollar road repair season begins

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Commuters who spent the winter stuck in slowed traffic need to take a deep breath and get ready to get stuck in slowed traffic because of road construction.

It's sort of the season opener this weekend. KSTP reported that a major road construction project begins in the metro area as a stretch of Interstate 94 shuts down for road work in both directions east of downtown St. Paul. (Westbound I-94 will be closed between Highway 61 and I-35E. Eastbound I-94 will be closed from I-35E to Mounds Blvd.) In addition, a section of Highway 62 between I-35 and Highway 100 will be closed this weekend as well.

KARE 11 notes that closures for both projects are set to begin at 10 p.m. Friday. The roads will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday in time for the start of the work week. But be ready for detours through the weekend.

It's a longer term hassle in the west metro, where the Star Tribune notes that a section of Hwy. 169 closes Sunday evening and remain shut down until July. The southbound lanes of Hwy. 169 between Crosstown Hwy. 62 and Valley View Road. The nine-week project will resurface the road, improve drainage systems, install guardrails and put a new deck on the overpass spanning the Crosstown

Get ready. The Minnesota Department of Transportation previously announced it would spend $1.1 billion on 308 projects across the state. Metro motorists will work around 74 of them; 194 will complicate travel in greater Minnesota. Work on railroad crossings and at regional airports is also included in that total.

Nick Carpenter, a MnDOT spokesman, told the Star Tribune that another complex project will begin in the middle of summer, when drivers will face closures between I-394 and the Crosstown that will last into the early fall. The project, geared to helping traffic flow, will disrupt traffic with a series of detours.

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