ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Memorial Day weekend is approaching and summer construction roadwork around the state is getting into full swing. The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to use extra caution while driving through highway work zones.
Sue Mulvihill, deputy commissioner and chief engineer, said MnDOT suspends work on most projects during the holiday weekend, but cautions drivers to be alert.
“There are still many work zones around the state where drivers need to plan ahead, pay attention and slow down to make it a safe weekend for everyone,” she said.
Motorists should be prepared for slower moving traffic and use extra caution in highway work zones. Plan ahead, think about alternate routes and go to www.511mn.org before leaving home to get information about road construction and detours.
In particular, Twin Cities travelers heading to Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and other areas of northwest Minnesota may encounter major delays along Interstate 94 for several resurfacing and reconstruction projects. Motorists on eastbound I-94 from northwest Minnesota to the Twin Cities should consider using Highway 55.
Motorists should consider avoiding the time period between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday and Monday for eastbound I-94 near Collegeville/St. John’s. Significant delays are expected with only one lane of lane traffic open through September 2016.
Other highway projects that may affect weekend travel on May 27-30 include:
Twin Cities area
· I-35E between Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake – lane and ramp closures
· Highway 61 in Forest Lake – single-lane traffic
· I-94 between St. Paul and Maplewood – overnight lane reductions, daytime intermittent lane and ramp closures
· Highway 280 between I-35W and Broadway St. – closed, detour
· I-494 in Plymouth – multiple lane and ramp closures
· Highway 100 in St. Louis Park – ramp closures and lane shift
· Highway 8 between Highway 95 and Taylor Falls – closed, detour
· I-94 between St. Cloud and Collegeville – lane and ramp closures, and slow traffic
· Highway 169 north of Milaca – one lane each direction and slow traffic
· I-35 between Pine City and Hinckley – lane shifts and slow traffic
· Highway 9 between Ada and Borup – detour
· Highway 23/Willmar Bypass – westbound lane closures
· I-35 in Duluth – lane restrictions and ramp closures
· I-94/Highway 29 in Alexandria – single lane on Highway 29, expect delays
· County Road 1 in Pequot Lakes – closed east of Highway 371 – detour
· I-94/Highway 75 in Moorhead – lane closures on Highway 75, and slow traffic
· Highway 169 between St. Peter and Mankato – detour
· Highway 52 southbound between Zumbrota and Pine Island – single lane traffic
· Highway 23 between Holland and Pipestone, Russell to Florence – detour
For a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit www.mndot.gov/roadwork/current.html. Motorists may also sign up to receive email updates for major projects at www.mndot.gov/emailupdates. A Greater Minnesota traffic impacts map is released every Thursday and the Metro traffic impacts map is released every Friday on www.facebook.com/mndot and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mndotnews.
“The leading factors for work zone crashes are driver inattention and speeding. Drivers face many distractions even in the best of conditions – and driving through construction work zones only amplifies distractions with lane changes and other unexpected variations,” said Kristine Hernandez, statewide Toward Zero Deaths coordinator. “Let’s make this holiday weekend a safe one for everyone on the road.”
Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program that uses education, emergency medical and trauma services, enforcement and engineering approaches to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on Minnesota roads. For more information, visit www.minnesotatzd.org/.
MnDOT reminds motorists to:
· Check www.511mn.org for up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions
· Don’t use cell phones or text while driving
· Follow posted speed limits; fines are higher in work zones· Expect delays, especially during peak travel times