The Thursday commute was highlighted by lots of junk in the lanes and strategically-placed crashes, which added up to longer drive times than normal for a beautiful spring day.

The action began with a refridgerator left along eastbound 94 at Riverside Avenue around 5:45 a.m. Later we had wood blocking lanes on Hwy. 100 at Hwy. 55 and a wheel that fell off a truck on northbound 35W at 110th Street.

A crash on 35W at Lexington Avenue early in the rush set the scene for the trip from Blaine to downtown Minneapolis. The jammed conditions persisted all morning and led to 30 to 40 minute commutes from the Forest Lake Split to downtown Minneapolis. Currently that drive is 35 minutes with the tightest conditions from Hwy. 10 to 694 and from Industrial Blvd. to Washington Avenue.

Southbound 35E didn't fare much better. A stall at Hwy. 36 and crash at Larpenteur Avenue bound traffic, which is still trying to recover. It's 25 minutes from County 96 to downtown St. Paul.

Westbound 94 had a trio of wrecks, with mishaps at Manning Avenue, White Bear Avenue and Marion Street. They are long gone, but heavy traffic persists. It's 26 minutes from Manning to Hwy. 280 at this hour.

The south metro on 35W is starting to clear out, but a crash on the Minnesota River bridge during the 8 a.m. hour clogged traffic from County 42 up to 98th Street.  It's 25 minutes to downtown Minneapolis.

The northwest metro had its share of slow conditions on eastbound 94 and southbound 494 from the Fish Lake Interchange to 394. It's still 20 minutes for that trip.

That is it for this morning. I'll be back Friday with more traffic reports. 

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8:45 a.m. update: Crash on 35W at County 42

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Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute