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Closed – Rest Stops, Information Centers [AUDIO]

State Travel and Information Center on Highway 10 south of St. Cloud (Jim Maurice)

UNDATED – Plan your pit stops ahead of time, if you’re traveling long distances this weekend.  All of the state’s rest areas are shut down, in anticipation of the state government shutdown.

MnDOT spokeswoman Judy Jacobs says they closed the non interstate rest areas yesterday (Wednesday), and they’re closing the interstate ones today.

She says barricades are being put up at the entrance to the facilities.

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Jacobs says the one exception will be the Welcome Center on 371 in the Brainerd Lakes Area.  She says that facility will stay open because of it’s partnership with the Brainerd Area Chamber of Commerce.

If a shutdown is avoided, it will take MnDOT anywhere from 6-24 hours to remove all of the barricades.

Jacobs says they’ve put up barricades at the entrance to each facility.  That’s a change from the shutdown in 2005 when they just locked the doors to the buildings.  She says they’re hoping to avoid a repeat of vandalism.

Also, if you’re out exploring Minnesota this holiday weekend, don’t count on the state’s tourism office to help guide your way.  The tourism department will close during a state government shutdown. But, Julie Lunning from the St. Cloud Area Convention and Tourism Office says local offices like hers will remain open.

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Also, the state’s travel and information centers like the one on Highway 10 south of St. Cloud will officially close at noon today (Thursday).

Here’s a list of which state government services will shutdown during the state government shutdown.

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