Motorists hitting the road for the Memorial Day weekend will likely find lighter-than-usual traffic volumes, fewer road construction-related road blocks and the lowest gas prices in 17 years.
All lanes on Interstate 94 between Maple Grove and Clearwater will be open Friday night through Monday, as the major construction project there takes a holiday.
The Harris Poll says only 5% of Americans will travel this weekend, and AAA predicts record low Memorial Day travel. With fewer motorists, the National Safety Council is predicting the fewest highway deaths over the three-day holiday period since 2014.
“Let’s not make this somebody’s Memorial Day, and let’s not make it somebody else’s Memorial Day,” said Mike Hanson, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.
Drivers should wear seat belts, obey the speed limit, leave their phones alone and avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, he said.
Gas prices will be under $2 a gallon on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 2003, when the national average was $1.46 per gallon. The state average on Thursday was $1.86, according to GasBuddy.
Here are a few metro construction zones active for the weekend:
1. Interstate 35W: Ramps from northbound I-35W to 5th Avenue S. and from 4th Avenue S. to southbound I-35W closed until July 31.
2. Hennepin Avenue: Lane reductions and full closure on some blocks between 12th Street and Washington Avenue.
3. 10th Avenue Bridge: Closed through midsummer 2021 from 10th Avenue on the east side of the Mississippi River and 19th Avenue S. on the west side.
4. 3rd Avenue Bridge: Reduced to one lane in each direction over the Mississippi River.
5. Interstates 694/494, Woodbury: Ramps from eastbound Interstate 94 to northbound I-694 and northbound I-494 to westbound I-94 closed until July 24.
6. Hwy. 95, Denmark Township: Closed between 70th Street and Hwys. 61 and 10 until Aug. 28.
7. Hwy. 36, Pine Springs: Ramp from eastbound Hwy. 36 to eastbound/southbound I-694 closed until May 29.
8. County Road 81/Bottineau Boulevard, Brooklyn Park: Closed between 79th Avenue and W. Broadway.
9. I-494, Eagan and Mendota Heights: Westbound traffic reduced to two lanes between Hwy. 55 and Dodd Road through June 1.
10. Hwy. 5, Bloomington and St. Paul: Eastbound lanes closed between I-494 and Davern Street; ramps from both directions of Hwys. 62 and 55 to eastbound Hwy. 5 closed through mid-July.
11. I-35W, Richfield: Reduced to two lanes between 76th and 86th streets until Aug. 31; ramp from southbound I-35W to westbound I-494 closed until Sept. 1.
12. I-35W, Bloomington and Burnsville: Lane closures between 106th Street and Cliff Road from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. For southbound drivers, the right lane provides access to Cliff Road, while the left lanes are reserved for drivers continuing through the construction zone into Burnsville.
13. Hwy. 13, Prior Lake: Intersection of Hwy. 13 and County Road 21 closed through July 22.
14. Hwy. 169, Jackson Township (Shakopee): Reduced to one lane between 133rd Street and Old Brick Yard Road through mid-August.
15. Hwy. 41, Chaska and Chanhassen: Closed between Peavey Road and W. 82nd Street until July 13.
16. Hwy. 101, Chanhassen: Closed between Flying Cloud Drive and Lakota Lane.