Yet another day of subzero temperatures put a glisten on Twin Cities highways Tuesday, sending motorists slipping and sliding even before the sun brought the dawn’s early light on the last day of 2013.
Even those who leave their vehicles at home were not immune. Mechanical trouble struck a train on the light-rail Blue Line that runs from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport into downtown Minneapolis. The train was broken down at the Lake Street station, according to Metro Transit, forcing buses to bridge the gap for travelers between the Franklin Avenue stop and Terminal 2 at the airport.
“Expect significant delays,” Metro Transit lamented in a statement issued at 6:45 a.m.
The rail service resumed in full in the early afternoon. Officials “are piecing together exactly what happened” in an effort to determine the origin of the mechanical difficulty, said transit spokesman Drew Kerr.
Crashes and spinouts were numerous on what otherwise would have been a less-than-troublesome commute between Christmas and New Year’s. A vehicle caught fire along Interstate 694 near Silver Lake Road in New Brighton, and no corner of the highway system was immune from the consequences of drivers traveling too fast for the winter conditions. There were crashes or spinouts on Hwy. 62 in Edina, Hwy. 280 at Energy Park Drive in St. Paul and I-35E and McAndrews Road in Burnsville.
From 5 to 10 a.m. in the metro area, state troopers handled 183 crashes involving 13 injuries, plus 66 instances of vehicles going off the road or spinning out, said Lt. Eric Roeske.