While it might seem hard to believe, we're already at the accepted halfway point of the summer season.  And because Independence Day (4th of July) falls on a Monday this year, most people will get a long weekend out of it.

The holiday - and the long weekend - will more than likely translate into an uptick in travelers hitting the road.  Even with gas prices at an all time record high, the Minnesota Department of Transportation expects this to be a busy weekend for the state's highways.

Ahead of the weekend, the state agency is urging drivers to exercise caution on the roadways - especially when navigating through the multiple open road construction work zones.  It goes without saying that summer is the prime road construction season, and there are a lot of projects that are currently in progress.

In fact, MNDOT shares that more than 200 projects are currently being worked on across the state.  And while a majority of these will see the work suspended for the 4th of July holiday, the actual work zones will remain in place even if there aren't any workers on the site during the holiday. Drivers are urged to slow down, be observant of changing conditions (like loose cones, barricades, etc), and observe all signs and posted speed limits.  MNDOT reminds everyone that the fine for speeding in a work zone is $300.00.

To prepare drivers, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has compiled a list of all of the work zones from across the state; you can find that list on their website, with up to date information and details about each one.

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Closer to home, here's a look at what road construction projects will potentially impact drivers in Northern Minnesota:

  • Twin Ports Interchange (Can of Worms):  This multi-year project is at its peak of activity.  While there has been no significant lane changes or traffic impacts this summer, it remains an open work zone with lane shifts, reduced speeds, and some closed ramps and exits.
  • Highway 194 in Hermantown:  The intersection at Midway Road is closed and a detour is posted.  There are also lane shifts and lane closures where Highway 194 meets Highway 53 north of the Midway Road intersection closure.
  • Highway 37 at County Road 7:  As crews build a roundabout, east-west traffic along Highway 37 is reduced to a single, narrow, temporary lane in each direction and the speed limit is reduced to 35 mph.  Additionally, north-south traffic along County Road 7 is closed to through traffic south of Highway 37 to Highway 16.
  • Highway 2 - Fosston to Erskine:  Watch for closed lanes, reduced speed limits.  Drivers should expect delays.
  • Highway 92 - Zerkel:  There is a detour in place.  The highway between County Road 35 and Highway 200 is closed.
  • Highway 71 - Bemidji:  Reduced speed limit, narrow lanes, and lane shifts on Highway 71.  Anne Street is closed, with a detour at Highway 71.

Here's a quick look at the Twin Cities / Metro area impacts:

  • Highway 10 in Anoka
  • I-94 and I-35E in St. Paul
  • Highway 55 in Minneapolis
  • Highway 55 - Minneapolis to Inver Grove Heights

The Minnesota Department of Transportation provided updated, real-time traffic details on their website.  Click here for more details.

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