Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The Two Seasons of Minnesota, . . .

. . . Winter and road construction. Sometimes I wonder which is worse here in the great north. Although we all wait for spring with kiddy anticipation, we start cursing for different reasons.

Yesterday, acting Transportation Commissioner (and Lt. Governor) Carol Malnau unveiled this years' grocery list of repairs.

The meatiest on the hit list:
MnDOT engineers picked six maintenance projects they expect to cause particular pain for drivers because there is no way around closing lanes:

o This month, the resurfacing of the Cayuga Bridge on Interstate Hwy. 35E north of downtown St. Paul will narrow the freeway from three lanes to two.

o In July, one lane of Hwy. 36 will be closed in each direction from I-35E to Hwy. 61 to paint four bridges in the Little Canada area.

o This month, Interstate Hwy. 94 through Washington County to the St. Croix River will be reduced from three to two lanes for pavement resurfacing.

o In July, Hwy. 169 will be narrowed from two lanes to one for bridge repairs at Crosstown Hwy. 62 and Minnetonka Blvd.

o During weekends in July, segments of I-394 will be closed to allow for repaving from Minnetonka to Minneapolis.

o In May, I-494 in the northwest will be reduced to single-lane traffic for four weeks northbound and two weeks southbound for bridge repairs.

Said engineer Mark Panek: "These are not real showy or pricey projects, but they will create some problems this summer."

Nothing on the list looks all that bad for me personally, but I am sure that will change the next time I am caught in traffic because of them. As long as the I-94 corridor into downtown Minneapolis is clear, I'll be fine. I would hate to be late for a tapping.


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