The Drive will keep you up to speed with the latest on Twin Cities commuting.

Fatal crash on 494 leads to near gridlock conditions

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 29, 2012 - 8:00 AM

An early morning crash that killed on person on 494 in Bloomington is leading to gridlock conditions on several other highways in the south metro.

The State Patrol closed westbound 494 at 35W at 5 a.m. Monday after seven vehicles collided near France Avenue. The patrol confirmed one fatality and one injury.

The freeway remains closed three hours after the wreck, and traffic is at a standstill on parts of Cedar Avenue and northbound 35W as motorists attempt to get around the closure.

The westbound lanes of 494 are expected to remain closed throughout the morning rush hour, said Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol.

The freeway is expected to be closed throughout the morning rush hour as reconstruction team investigates the crash. Ramps to westbound 494 at Penn and France Avenues also are closed.

"Avoid the area at all costs," Roeske said.

At 7:55 a.m., drive times are lengthy. The worst delays are on 35W northbound with 40 minutes needed to travel from the Burnsville split to the Crosstown. And a crash on northbound 35W at 26th Street is adding to congestion heading into downtown Minneapolis.

A secondary crash on northbound Cedar Avenue at 66th Street is creating bottlenecks.

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