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

Day two on Hwy. 169 was better, but still bad

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: July 30, 2013 - 12:43 PM

Commuters who used the Bloomington Ferry Bridge to cross the Minnesota River encountered delays Tuesday morning, but they were not nearly as bad as those that drivers had on Monday.

Traffic started stacking up around 5:30 a.m., a bit earlier than on Monday, but backups extended only to County Road 18 for much of the morning rush hour. At the peak of the rush hour on Monday, drivers were experiencing delays of up to 40 minutes while waiting in the jam that extended well past Canterbury Road.

On Tuesday, delays were closer to 20 minutes, a marked improvement,

But what was good for 169 drivers on other routes, was not for drivers on other routes, which saw heavier than normal amounts of traffic.

"We saw more people going on Hwy. 41 to Hwy. 212. Lots of folks used Hwy. 13 to avoid the massive backups," said Don Zenanko of the Regional Transportation Management Center in Roseville. "It will be trial and error. On the first days everybody is trying to get their wings and find the fastest way over the river. Migration will experiment."

Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke tweeted that he took the Hwy. 101 crossing out of Shakopee and at 7:15 a.m. took only 30 minutes to reach the Eden Prairie Center. He also coined the hashtag #shakblocade to tweet about his experiences.

As motorists avoided Hwy. 169, drivers on Hwy. 13 experienced big delays as did those on northbound 35W. At times the drive from the Burnsville Split to downtown Minneapolis on 35W was 35 to 40 minutes. Drivers on eastbound Hwy. 212 also had slower commutes, too.

And whenever this is rain, "that slows things down and there is a cascading effect," Zenanko said.

As for the week ahead, the best advice is to leave early or if possible go into work late. By 9:30 a.m., Hwy. 169 had only minor delays. In Zenanko's words, "rush hour could be prolonged for folks,"

 

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