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Washington Ave. bridge in Mpls. closing this weekend

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Motorists driving to parts of the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus this weekend will have to find alternate routes.

The Washington Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River will be closed over the weekend to vehicle traffic for work on the Central Corridor light rail line.

Construction crews have to close the bridge in order to shift traffic from the north side lanes of the bridge to the south side, according to Met Council spokeswoman Laura Baenen. She says workers are strengthening the bridge to prepare it for the trains.

"There will be two tracks eventually in the middle of the bridge," Baenen said. "The way to work on the bridge and still keep it open for motorists is to work on one half and have the traffic on the other side, and then switch it later, which is what we're doing."

The bridge will reopen to traffic early Monday morning. Maps with detour routes are available on the Met Council's webiste.

Baenen says overall, the Central Corridor project is one-third complete and on schedule.