Minneapolis skyway bridge
Minneapolis skyway bridge Anthony Souffle

Minneapolis is home to the most extensive skyway system in the world, with almost 9 miles of walkways from U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings, to Target Center, home of the Timberwolves.

The word “skyways” sounds so Jetsons, but they’re just indoor sidewalks, one floor above the streets.

This time of year, though, they may save your sanity, or at least your nose.

Since the first skyway opened in 1962, the elevated passages have signified escape, whether from traffic noise, stoplights or, of course, the weather.

The Super Bowl Host Committee’s slogan is Bold North, but let’s face it: It’s one letter away from Cold North.

That’s why there are skyways.

Granted, they may make you feel like hamsters-in-a-maze and it’s almost impossible for newbies to find their way through them.

That’s why apps and maps are available, as well as platoons of people who can point you in the right direction.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Many skyways will have extended hours of operation, especially if they are linked to specific Super Bowl events. In addition, access to all parking garages will be available, with extended hours.

  • For maps and info about hours in a particular skyway, check the info at the Meet Minneapolis special Super Bowl section or visit minneapolis.org/superbowl.

  • To download a skyways map for Minneapolis, as well as St. Paul, go to the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Know Before You Go site at mnsuperbowl.com/transportation.

  • To download a map for iPhone or Android, go to skywaymyway.com.

  • Confused about how to get into the skyway system? Look up. Most buildings where you see a skyway piercing the second floor will have a marked entrance.

  • Once you’re in the skyways, you’ll find illuminated “you are here” maps are placed periodically placed throughout the system.

  • Plenty of folks will be ready and willing to direct you to your destination, because Minnesotans love to feel helpful.

Just don’t try thanking us with a hug.