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

9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 4, 2014 - 9:02 AM

The rush hour got off to a somber start as authorities had the ramp from eastbound 694 to East River Road in Fridley shut down for about five hours as they investigated a fatal motorcycle crash.

Authorities say a 37-year-old man appeared to have collided with a light pole. His name has not been released.

A smattering of stalls and crashes were just enough to gum up traffic on northbound 35W from Burnsville to downtown Minneapolis. At the worst, the trip from County Road 42 up to I-94 was taking upwards of 30 minutes. With incidents now clear, drive times are dropping to 25 minutes or less.

A dog running along the lanes of southbound 35W during the 7 a.m. hour brought speeds down between Lexington Avenue and County 96, but overall, the trip from the Forest Lake Split to downtown Minneapolis was fairly pleasant with no major setbacks.

The usual congestion formed on westbound 94 from Woodbury to St. Paul, but again, that was just the normal traffic crush. One unusual incident on eastbound 94 at Jackson Street involved a smoking vehicle that required the St. Paul Fire Department to block the right lane for a few minutes.

A new closure greeted Plymouth drivers. Schmidt Lake Road is now closed for the next three weeks between Northwest Boulevard and Cheshire Parkway. During the closure, the suggested detour is to use Vicksburg Lane or Northwest Boulevard to County Road 47.

Things were quiet on the rails and buses this morning. Transit operators didn't report any delays.  Need to use the restroom at the Eagan Transit Station? You are out of luck. Due to continued vandalism and property damage, public access to the restroom area is temporarily locked, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority said.

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