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

Speed limits to rise to 60 mph on 340 miles of Minn. highways

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: February 27, 2015 - 10:28 AM

Drivers on some two-lane highways in western and northern Minnesota will soon be able to drive 60 miles per hour, legally.

The speed limit on 340 miles of highways will rise from 55 mph over the next few weeks. The new speed limits will go into effect when signs are posted, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

Among the highways that will have faster speeds include segments totaling 111 miles along Hwy. 55, segments totaling 65 miles along Hwy. 23 and 54 miles along Hwy. 212.

A legislative mandate required MnDOT to commence a study of all two-lane highways that have a speed limit of 55 mph over a five-year period. In 2014, the department evaluated 570 miles of highway and deemed the higher speeds appropriate for an increase, according to a report submitted to the Legislature in January.

MnDOT looked at several attributes of each highway that was studied, including past crash rates, highway shoulder widths and access points and the speed drivers are currently going.

“A speed study gives MnDOT the opportunity to review speed limits on all 55 mph roads in Minnesota and identify the ones that can support a higher speed limit without compromising safety,” said Julie Whitcher, assistant state traffic safety engineer.

Minnesota has about 7,000 miles of two-lane highways that will be studied over the next four years. In 2015, MnDOT will look at 1,500 miles of highways.

Here is a link to the 2014 report with a full list of where speeds will rise.

9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: February 27, 2015 - 9:00 AM

The Friday rush hour end the way it began, with a clean slate.

The last two crashes on westbound I-94 at Cretin Avenue and LaSalle Avenue cleared in the past few minutes.

A truck hauling metal dumped some stuff on the ramp from I-35W to Hiawatha Avenue just after 8 a.m. causing a few anxious moments for commuters. That's all gone now.

Otherwise just a few mishaps were reported this morning and none really had an adverse impact on traffic.

8:30 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: February 27, 2015 - 8:31 AM

MnDOT First Units and the State Patrol are working to clean up a couple crashes, one on northbound I-35W at Black Dog Road and the other on westbound Crosstown at Tracy Avenue.

Commuters can expect minor slow downs in those areas, but elsewhere, things are in high gear.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 15 minutes

Southbound 35E from County 96 to I-94: 11 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 12 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 10 minutes. Eastbound is 10 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 9 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 8 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 11 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 10 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 21 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 9 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 17 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 7 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Dell Road to Crosstown: 4 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 9 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 7 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 9 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 8 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 10 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 8 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 6 minutes.

8:15 a.m. update: A good commute continues

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: February 27, 2015 - 8:17 AM

You know it's a good commute when a mishap on westbound I-94 at Franklin Avenue is not impacting the traffic flow. Things are sailing right along in both directions between the downtowns.

A couple incidents to keep an eye out for include a crash on the right shoulder of westbound Crosstown at Tracy Avenue in Edina.  And northbound 35W loses some steam from Cliff Road to 98th Street due to a wreck at Black Dog Road.

8 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: February 27, 2015 - 8:02 AM

The clot on eastbound Hwy. 212 has loosened and traffic is getting back up to speed between Dell Road and Prairie Center Drive.

Traffic is flowing again on southbound I-35 at Hwy. 97 in Forest Lake. Look for the flashing lights on the right shoulder at Hwy. 97 where an injury crash is in the final stage of clearing.

On  East Hennepin Avenue at 2nd Street, look out for a solid waste truck reported to be on fire.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 17 minutes

Southbound 35E from County 96 to I-94: 16minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 14 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 12 minutes. Eastbound is 11 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 11 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 8 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 12 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 to Crosstown: 17 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 12 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 20 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 10 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 21 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 13 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Dell Road to Crosstown: 7 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 8 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 7minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 10 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 9 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 10 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 9 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 6 minutes.

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