Alert reader Z. wrote in last week with a question:
I took my bike to work finally today [Thursday]. I bike from Highland, St. Paul to an office building near 394 & 100. It says the Cedar Trail will be closing in a few days. Is this for the new stadium? How long will it be closed for?
The next day, Roadguy miraculously received an e-mail about ballpark-related road closings, and it contained the answer to Z.’s question:
The Cedar Lake Bike Trail will close to all traffic for up to 2 months from Dunwoody Blvd./Linden Av.to 12th St. N./3rd Ave. N. while some work takes place on the ballpark. Once that work is completed, the trail will be re-established in July to its current 3rd Avenue terminus to accommodate bicycle and foot traffic. Signed detours are posted.
A map of the bike detour is here. And if you fail to avoid the closed area, your bike might end up a different color:
While the Cedar Lake Trail is closed for two months, MnDOT will use this opportunity to paint the Interstate 94 bridges located under the Cedar Lake trail. [Roadguy notes: I think they meant "over" the trail.] This part of the bridge painting project is anticipated to be completed in approximately three weeks, weather permitting.
So there’ll be some short-term pain for bikers downtown, but the long-term gain is that, eventually, Z. and anyone else will be able to bike to baseball games, light rail, and even the planned Northstar line.
However, anyone who was particularly fond of a certain stretch of 3rd Avenue North will enter a period of mourning. From the same e-mail:
At 6 a.m. Monday, May 21, 2007, 3rd Avenue North from the entrance of 394 to 7th Street North will close to all traffic, vehicle and pedestrian. This road is being removed to accommodate the building of the new Twins ballpark and will not re-open. Signed detours are posted. Anyone using 3rd Avenue North south of 5th Street North will end up on westbound I-394.
A friend of mine used to refer to that part of downtown as “Chutes and Ladders” — one wrong turn, and you’re sliding down a ramp on a one-way trip to the edges of the city.
You can keep an eye on construction in the area at www.ballparkauthority.com.