St. Paul drivers beware: Snelling Avenue bridge closing for 3 months

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Another major traffic headache begins early Monday morning for Twin Cities commuters, when road construction crews will close Snelling Avenue between the eastbound and westbound ramps of I-94 for about three months. It will officially be shut down at 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.

MnDOT plans to replace the Snelling Avenue bridge deck that spans I-94 as part of a larger project to resurface Snelling between Selby Avenue and Pierce Butler Route, according to MPR News.

As part of the bridge deck closure, MnDOT will also close the eastbound ramps at I-94, along with Concordia Avenue between Fry and Asbury Streets. Drivers will need to use Marshall Avenue and Lexington Avenues to get to eastbound I-94.

Here's the detour map.

As if that isn't disruptive enough, a portion of I-94 itself will be closed next weekend – from 10 p.m. on May 15 through 5 a.m. on May 18 – as the Snelling Avenue bridge deck is removed.

The bridge, which was built in 1962, carries about 42,000 vehicles per day and the pavement "is nearing the end of its lifecycle," Kirsten Klein, a MnDOT spokeswoman, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "The deck replacement will provide a smoother ride and extends the lifespan of the bridge."

MnDOT says the entire $9.2 million Snelling Avenue improvement project will make one of the busiest areas of the Hamline-Midway neighborhood better for drivers, pedestrians and transit riders.

The stretch of Snelling between Selby Avenue and Pierce Butler Road will be repaved, and will have wider, more accessible sidewalks and new lighting, according to the agency.

The Metropolitan Council will install new bus shelters along Snelling Avenue that will be able to accommodate low-floor Bus Rapid Transit vehicles, according to the Pioneer Press. The new BRT "A" Line will connect Minneapolis to Roseville in 2015.

More information on the Snelling Avenue project is available from MnDOT.

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