Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota’s fifth season arrives April 6, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , ,
A sign near St. Paul flashes road construction info.

A sign near St. Paul flashes road construction info.

IT’S APRIL, AND ROAD CONSTRUCTION season is ramping up in Minnesota. Traveling in the Twin Cities metro, especially, can be a nightmare mess with road, ramp and lane closures and the accompanying snarl of slow-moving traffic or gridlock.

I am truly thankful that I live in Greater Minnesota, where road construction is a much more manageable problem.

Signature orange barrels mark construction zones.

Signature orange barrels and barricades mark construction zones approaching downtown St. Paul.

Still, with my eldest daughter and her husband living in the northern metro and extended family living points north, avoiding metro road construction is impossible.

So many signs and cones

So many signs and barrels nearing downtown St. Paul.

I know the traffic here is nothing compared to places like LA or Chicago. But still…

WHAT’S YOUR STRATEGY for dealing with road construction?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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29 Responses to “Minnesota’s fifth season arrives”

  1. Wãshē Kōdä Says:

    After motoring the belts & loops of the Twin City Metro on an electrician crew for years I would stop off at a bar for one and a half hours & catch the news before heading home to Anoka arriving just 20 minuets later than if I had sat in bumper to bumper all that time !

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Stay calm. That is my strategy. Construction is always an issue everywhere I drive it seems but I just try to not freak out when I see orange cones/barrels. There is just no escaping it and I have managed to usually get wherever I want to get even if it does take a little longer.

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    “WHAT’S YOUR STRATEGY for dealing with road construction?”

    1) Start with a deep cleansing breath.
    2) Find a quiet alternate route.
    3) Take the time to explore the new route.
    4) If 1,2 and 3 don’t work, swear a lot.

  4. Stay home! Dad always said there were two seasons winter and road construction

  5. You mentioned Chicago and LA, but I’ll bet Boston and the surrounds match up very “unfavorably” as well. My biggest bug-a-boo is the drivers who believe that their time is more important than the rest of ours, and so then wait until the last, I mean the VERY LAST possible moment to merge out of the lane, that they have been informed, was closing about a mile or so back and as a result, they are the very reason that there is a back-up of two miles in the first place.. Merge people ASAP PLEASE!! I deal with this everyday, my 20 mile commute takes upwards of an hour and a quarter and sometimes as much as two hours because of construction and these self-centered morons. Thanks for the venue to vent.

    • Alright then. An hour to drive 20 miles, sometimes longer. That’s crazy. We have been contemplating a drive to Boston. Would we avoid the worst of it if we are going to Sommerville/Medford (Tufts)?

      • It would all depend on where you are coming from (bad: North, West and South. East is not usually a problem lol) and the time of day.. Between 8-10:30 am and 3:30-6:30 pm are bad just about everywhere, every weekday and when the Red Sox are playing at Fenway.. These times are a generalization and vary according to weather, day of the week, time of year and of course construction which is partly, make that mostly, responsible for the idiots I mentioned in my original comment. Please plan accordingly.. Otherwise traffic is not and issue. Enjoy your trip!

      • Hmmmm…you do not allow much time or reason when traffic is not an issue. Trip is not a for certain yet. Contemplative stage…

      • In the words of Joe Friday, badge #714 “just the facts ma’am,just the facts” lol

  6. Dealing w/ road construction?
    I swear…but only to myself, dear. xx

  7. Don Says:

    I believe “Almost Iowa” has it figured out!!!!!!

    Lucky for me I don’t have to deal with this problem. With 24 hour daylight road construction crews usually shut down during the busy time of the day 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and work during the night 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. but as it does not get dark it doesn’t really qualify as night does it!

  8. Oh yes, it’s that time. Last year, almost all of I-88 west to Iowa was under construction for the entire summer. We went that way numerous times to our daughter’s. I hope it is fixed by now; haven’t been that way for quite a few months.

  9. hotlyspiced Says:

    Hi Audrey, I’ve missed you in my absence. Glad to know I’m not alone in my struggles with maths! I’m impressed that your lanes are so wide! Over here they are dangerously narrow like buses and trucks are often wider than the lanes. It makes driving really stressful xx

  10. Don Says:

    Being extra cautious and patient.


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