City of Minneapolis prepares new traffic plans following the bridge collapse
The city of Minneapolis has released information on the change in traffic patterns and alternate routes following the collapse of the I-35W bridge. The press release is as follows:
MnDOT has made Minnesota Highway 280 the primary replacement route for I-35W traffic. It will carry traffic from I-35W in Roseville to I-94. To prevent traffic snarls, Highway 280 has been converted to a temporary freeway with altered traffic signals. The change means Broadway Avenue and County Road B no longer have access to the highway, and the lights at these intersections will stay green for the highway.
Closed and congested streets
Several local streets in the collapse area are closed, including the 10th Avenue Bridge and sections of Second Street Southeast and West River Parkway. Many city streets and area freeways will see higher traffic volumes as a result. The following streets and areas are expected to see extra congestion in the months ahead, and drivers are encouraged to plan additional time for their trips or find alternate routes:
- Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, which crosses the river and becomes Third Avenue South in Downtown
- East Hennepin Avenue
- Cedar Avenue and Riverside Avenue in the West Bank area
- Huron Boulevard
- St. Anthony area
- In the Downtown area: Washington Avenue, Seventh Street South, Third Avenue South, Fifth Avenue South
Changing our traffic patterns
Minneapolis Public Works staff have been hard at work to make modifications to our street system that will allow traffic to flow as smoothly as is possible given the conditions. They include changing traffic signal timing, creating new turning lanes and prohibiting some turns in Northeast Minneapolis to improve flow of traffic across the Third Avenue and Hennepin Avenue bridges. Public Works will continue to look for ways to improve the system, and anyone who wants to report observations or suggestions is encouraged to call 311 to provide their input.
Transit and driving alternatives
Drivers are asked to plan ahead and allow extra time for trips into and out of the area. Leaving early will also help spread out rush hour traffic and decrease delays.
Minneapolis also asks everyone to continue to exercise patience on the road and show common courtesy to your fellow commuters. Please slow down, watch for pedestrians and bikes, and remember that we all have opportunities to make a difference.
Commuters into downtown, the University of Minnesota, and throughout the city are encouraged to take advantage mass transit, car pooling, and bike routes to minimize traffic backups. Metro Transit has added extra buses to several routes to handle extra riders. For more information on transit, visit www.metrotransit.org or go to the Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Management Organization's Web site at www.mplstmo.org.
The following streets and routes are encouraged to help ease the flow of traffic:
- There are other Mississippi River bridges with extra capacity at Lowry Avenue, Broadway Avenue, Plymouth Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Franklin Avenue.
- Drivers heading out of Downtown have two main routes: Fourth Avenue South, which feeds onto southbound I-35W; and Third Street South, which feeds onto I-394 or I-94 westbound.
For realtime information on lane closures and construction in downtown Minneapolis, visit http://laneuse.ci.minneapolis.mn.us.