Plan ahead because a busy road is closing on a busy weekend

Better plan your route if you're heading to a game or the marathon

If you're planning to go have a good time in the Twin Cities this weekend, don't forget to have a plan for getting there and back. 

The closing of Interstate 35W in Minneapolis will throw a wrench into the travels of a whole lot of drivers. 

MnDOT plans to close the Interstate in both directions from downtown south to the Crosstown (Highway 62). It'll be closed from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 o'clock Monday morning. 

Meanwhile, one of the Twin Cities' busiest sports weekends of the year will be underway. 

Sports fans and marathoners in town 

Not only are the Twins, Vikings, Wild, and Gopher football team all playing at home this weekend – the Twin Cities is also hosting its marathon. 

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon typically involves about 10,000 runners and several times as many spectators cheering them on along a route that closes off several streets. (The marathon's transportation planning page is here.)

The marathon starts Sunday morning and that figures to be the busiest day for traffic, with the Vikings playing at noon and the Twins at 2 p.m. 

200,000 cars per day

That 200,000 figure is the number of vehicles per day MnDOT says use the stretch of 35W that'll be closed this weekend. "If that's not the busiest, it is one of the busiest sections of interstate in the state," one department official tells KSTP

Why shut it down on such a busy weekend? 

It's part of a huge four-year rebuild of 35W that's just getting started, so delaying work now could mess up the schedule for the whole project

For the next two weekends crews will be doing prep work for the teardown of the Franklin Ave. bridge. MnDOT's Denise Workoff tells the Star Tribune the contractor is anxious to get started with demolition so they can be finished before winter weather ends the work. 

MnDOT's suggested detour for those who'd normally use 35W is to try Highway 62, Highway 100, and I-394. 

You can always use MnDOT's 511 page for updates on road work and a real-time look at traffic conditions in the Twin Cities or around the state. 

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