Icy roads made Thursday's morning commute just as grueling as yesterday. Many drivers said the trip to work today took just as long or longer than Wednesday when snow covered the roads.
The congestion began early and as of 9 a.m. still has not loosened on routes such as southbound 494, 169 and Hwy. 100 between I-94 and the Crosstown. Trips on those routes are still taking 35 to 45 minutes.
In the east metro, there are signs that I-94 is starting to shake loose from Woodbury to downtown St. Paul. At one time, the trip from the eastern suburbs to downtown Minneapolis was taking more than 1 hour. Currently that is about 40 minutes.
The north metro suffered worse than the south metro all morning. Southbound 35W was back to its old tricks with a constant stagnation from 6 a.m. until about 8:45 a.m. from Lexington Avenue down to Hwy. 280. The rest of the trip into Minneapolis also was a slow roll.
Highway 36 was hardly moving for much of the morning, and still is bumper to bumper from 35E over to Cleveland Avenue/Hwy. 280.
Ice send several vehicles into the ditch along eastbound 94 between Monticello and Albertville during the 6 a.m. hour. That caused traffic to stack up there and consequently into Maple Grove and Rogers as the rush hour wore on.
Metro Transit saw delays on about 50 percent of its buses. And some Northstar Trains were up to 30 minutes late arriving in downtown Minneapolis. Apparently freight trains using the tracks forced the commuter train to wait.