Christmas Eve did not get off to a merry start for commuters as the bitter cold caused black ice to form on freeway ramps and bridges and led to scores of spinouts and crashes. Conditions were so bad that MnDOT put out a warning to motorists to take their time.
The Cayuga Bridge in St. Paul was extremely treacherous as at least five crashes during the morning rush tangled traffic on southbound 35E.
Slippery conditions on the Dartmouth Bridge contributed to a three-vehicle crash on westbound 94 that blocked three lanes over the Mississippi River for more than 45 minutes. That brought traffic to a standstill as far back as Hwy. 280.
Travelers heading to the MSP Airport got stuck in a big traffic jam on W. 7th Street in St. Paul. An early morning crash involving six vehicles blocked traffic on Hwy. 5 at Hwy. 55 for more than an hour.
Motorists outside the metro area didn’t fare much better. At least three rollover crashes were reported on I-35 between Stacy and North Branch Tuesday morning. Several spinouts also occurred, the State Patrol said.
Our current list of accidents include:
Left lane blocked on westbound 94 at Lyndale Avenue.
Left lane blocked on southbound 35E at Maryland Avenue. There also is a report of a vehicle off the road between Wheelock Pkwy. and Maryland.
Right shoulder blocked on eastbound 94 at Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis.
The ramp from County Road 81 to northbound Hwy. 100 is closed as the State Patrol works to clear a rollover wreck.
Southbound Hwy. 52 at Concord St. is the scene of a crash blocking the left shoulder.