Minneapolis/St Paul dopers: cough up your secret routes!

I’m going to Chicago next weekend, leaving on Friday after work. I know there must be a better way out of here than 94 east. Last time I tried 94 east to Wisconsin I sat in traffic three hours. What’s the secret?

Abandon all hope, ye who drive here.

As you know, Minnesota has only two seasons. Although snow construction has passed, we are now into the season of road removal.

There is no fast way from here to there, although if you were in traffic for three hours I suspect you were traveling on Memorial Day weekend, no? If you’re coming from downtown Minneapolis, I-94 really is your best bet.

So…uh…when is that nifty light rail thingy opening?

You sure there’s not a secondary street I can zip over on? I really don’t want to sit there for another three hours. And yes, it was Memorial Day weekend, and yes I was an idiot for thinking it couldn’t be that bad.

The entire midwest, hell, the entire country has two seasons except places like Arizona where they only have construction.

Well, if you’re coming from downtownish, I guess you could take Lake Street across; that turns into Marshall eventually and you’re probably want to head back up to 94 at around Victoria or Dale.

Then again, there’s a reason the Twin Cities has the 494/694 loop…

Your basic situation is to either spend a bunch of time on 94, or a bunch of time driving around on back roads. So long as there’s no huge construction or accidents, it works out to about the same amount of time and the only change is how well you deal with slow driving on a freeway.

I find myself leaving for weekend trips to Wisconson from the Midway area of St. Paul at around that time on Fridays as well; it really only ads 20-30 minutes (from Snelling…) to leave then rather than when there’s no traffic.


… the heck? They told me they were repairing the roads! That explains a lot.

The Hudson bridge is reduced to two lanes in each direction, you can exit 94 in Woodbury and take the frontage road (Hudson Rd.) to the bridge and get on there. I’ve seen 94 backed up past Cty. Rd 15 on a Friday afternoon. That’s what I’d do, anyway. After the bridge the traffic eases up (AFAIK).

You didn’t mention which parts of the Twin Cities you are starting from, but here is another option.

Take HWY 52 south to Rochester. Pick up I90 and head east into Wisconsin. I-90 and I-94 merge in Tomah, and you continue on your merry way to Chicago.

Drive at 3 am when everyone else is sleeping.

June 26th. Though it certainly won’t get you to Wisconsin.

I’ve never been stuck on 94 for long enough to make Lake St at rush hour seem like a good idea. But then, I haven’t been stuck on 94 for three hours. Good luck.