After a tranquil start, the morning rush kicked into high gear with a car fire on southbound I-35E at Larpenteur Avenue had both lanes blocked for nearly 30 minutes.  Commuters were stuck just before 7 a.m. until the scene cleared.  The result, was a huge bottleneck that stretched back to the I-694 commons.

That area, too, had its issues. A lane was taken out of service for a road construction project and a crash at the split had traffic crawling during the mid portion of the commute.

Those incidents have long cleared and traffic is flowing decent through Maplewood and downtown St. Paul.

From 7:30 a.m. to the present, both directions of 494 saw more congestion than usual. A couple crashes snarled westbound traffic (they were at Penn and Lyndale Avenues) while eastbound suffered from Flying Cloud Drive to 35W. That stretch is still moving slow at this hour.

A power outage in Eden Prairie has traffic signals out in the area of Valley View Road and I-494. Crews are placing temporary stop signs out to control traffic.

The opening of the Hwy. 41 crossing over the Minnesota River may have played a role in the reduced congestion on northbound Hwy. 169 and I-35W. Both routes moved swifter than they have in the past two weeks since flooding closed a number of roads in the south metro.

The crossing at Hwy. 101 remains closed as does County Road 9 in Scott County.

Over the weekend, MNDOT extended the Hwy. 65 work zone a tad north up to Hwy. 10 in Blaine.  The southbound lanes were reduced to a single lane at 93rd Avenue, and that created a traffic jam that lasted most of the morning from 105th Avenue to Hwy. 10.  A number of crossings between Hwy. 10 and Medtronic Pkwy. also closed.  This will be in place until August.

That's it for today.  I'll be back Tuesday with more live traffic blogging.  As always, comments and questions about metro area traffic and transit are welcome at

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8:50 a.m. update: New wreck on 494 in Bloomington

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Minneapolis to hold public meeting, St. Louis Park to vote on Southwest LRT