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Going to Capitol? Good luck

ST. PAUL - People struggle to get to the "people house" this summer.

"It is very difficult to get around the Capitol complex right now," Christopher Guevin of the Administration Department said.

That is because of construction projects nearby and on the Capitol grounds. Public parking remains available, but getting to it may be tough.

"The big impact is the circuitous route you have to take from a parking spot to the Capitol," Guevin said.

For one thing, University Avenue on the north side of the Capitol (the back) is torn up as workers prepare to lay tracks for a passenger light rail project to connect Minneapolis and St. Paul. Several blocks of the major street are closed, and construction throughout downtown St. Paul and along University to the west disrupts traffic.

Then there is other construction, such as a new U.S. 52 Mississippi River bridge. That construction at times has slowed traffic on Interstate 94 in and near downtown St. Paul.

Just now starting is construction of an apartment building across Interstate 94 from the Capitol, and works continues on an armory near the Capitol.

On top of that, events continue around the Capitol, including an every-Friday farmers market and a variety of events that close streets in the area.

The advice from state officials to Capitol visitors is to drive north on John Ireland Boulevard.

Parking is available on streets in front of the Capitol and in a parking lot behind the Centennial building to the southeast. More parking is available in Q Lot northeast of the Capitol, north of University Avenue, on Cedar Street. However, Cedar Street south of the Capitol is closed.

Online: provides updates on street and sidewalk closures and detours related to light rail construction throughout the St. Paul area.