A key state lawmaker says he’s disappointed and puzzled that MN-DOT is closing I-35W in south Minneapolis on what could be one of the busiest weekends of the year, with the Twin Cities Marathon, Vikings, Twins and Gophers games. Republican Representative Paul Torkelson from Hanska says he’s surprised MN-DOT couldn’t see this coming. “These schedules have been out for months,” he says, “and when you have a number of events like this on the same day, it’s potential for a real headache for people trying to attend these games.” MN-DOT officials say it’s not a closure they’re taking lightly, but delaying this part of the project would significantly increase costs.
Torkelson says “with just a minimum level of planning a few months ago, this project could have been moved to a different weekend. This project is a long-term project. I believe the work they’re gonna do this weekend is removal of a bridge, and [it’s] surprising that that would have to be done this weekend.” Torkelson says lawmakers won’t be setting MN-DOT’s schedule, but will certainly ask questions next session about how the agency determines when these big projects take place.