Schools closed, no snow and light levels of traffic. It seemed like the recipe for a decent rush hour. But the frigid temperatures brought lots of black ice to the roads and ramps, and that led to a difficult rush for drivers.
The State Patrol responded to scores of rollovers between 5 and 9 a.m., including one that had the ramp from 31st Street to southbound 35W shut down for about a half hour. The latest is on the Crosstown eastbound at the bottom of the ramp from France Avenue.
From the first reported rollover through the morning, the crashes kept coming. Some of the worst areas was on I-94 where between 8:15 and 8:40 a.m. three accidents snarled traffic in St. Paul. They were at White Bear Avenue, Lexington Avenue and Hwy. 52.
Currently two left lanes are blocked on eastbound 94 at Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. That is causing delays back to the Lowry Hill Tunnel.
A crash on southbound. 169 at Excelsior Blvd has traffic in gridlock from I-394. Northbound is dragging from Crosstown up to Hwy. 7.
Northbound 35W is tight from 42nd Street to Lake Street, the residual effect of an earlier stalled vehicle.