The Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting drivers to a slow down on I-35 between Northfield and Elko. Many have already experienced it firsthand.

A bridge painting project is forcing single-lane traffic for a short stretch of road just north of exit 69 at Northfield. But the delays have been significant. A news release from MnDOT indicates backups are likely, especially on weekends.

Traffic officials encourage drivers to always be attentive and to drive with caution and slow down in construction zones. Signs on the interstate instruct drivers to use the zipper method during periods of backed up traffic. With the zipper policy, drivers should fill both lanes and merge when instructed to do so by road signs.

The project lasts through July 11 to paint the bridge. Lane closures are necessary for the safety of drivers and workers, according to the news release.

In Owatonna, drivers will find County Road 45 work happening on the south side of town and on the north side of Owatonna at the intersection with 26th Street Northwest.