Updated 12:50 p.m. | Posted 11:31 a.m.
It looked like North Shore drivers were in for a massive headache and 27-mile detour this weekend. But now it's OK. And the Twin Cities weekend traffic woes look pretty mild.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation Friday morning said a vehicle struck and damaged a railroad bridge over U.S. Highway 61 at Taconite Harbor on Thursday. That caused officials to close the heavily traveled highway and direct motorists to a 27-mile detour, much of it on gravel roads.
Construction crews, though, hustled to take down the bridge, which was once used for taconite rail shipments. MnDOT reported that Highway 61 reopened around noon Friday.
With that mini-crisis past, there's not a whole lot that should cause headaches over the Labor Day weekend. But maybe we just jinxed it. Here are some of the hassles you'll see the next few days.
All six lanes of Interstate 94 at the Lowry Tunnel are now open, along with several ramps in the area (eastbound Interstate 394 to eastbound I-94 and northbound Interstate 35W to westbound I-94).
It's also the final weekend of the Minnesota State Fair (2017 edition). Traffic may be slow around the various park and rides and near the fairgrounds but the good news is that all lanes of Snelling Avenue are open through Labor Day, with no traffic restrictions.
Smith Avenue bridge in St. Paul
Beginning Tuesday, the Smith Avenue High Bridge will close through December 2018. Crews will be reconstructing the bridge deck, along with resurfacing Smith Avenue and Dodd Road/Highway 149.
Also closing are:
• Cliff Street at Smith Avenue
• Cherokee Avenue at Smith Avenue
• A section of the Samuel Morgan Trail adjacent to the Mississippi River between Randolph Avenue and Washington Street.
Here's a look at what will impact your drive if you're headed to outstate Minnesota:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.