Police activity on I-394 overpass causes major morning backup
- Blog Post by: Tim Harlow
- August 22, 2014 - 9:06 AM
Interstate 394 reopened shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, after police activity on an overpass had caused a massive traffic jam for hours.
The police activity began to unfold on I-394 right around 6 a.m. Authorities shut down the westbound lanes from downtown Minneapolis to Penn Avenue and the eastbound HOT lanes from Hwy. 100 to downtown Minneapolis.
Additionally, one of the eastbound 394 lanes was blocked at Penn Avenue, which led to a massive traffic jam that at its worst stretched back to General Mills Blvd.
Some drivers on westbound 394 were stuck on the freeway for two hours until just after 8:30 a.m. when they were allowed to pass. The lanes then were closed again. Other drivers were allowed to turn around and get off the freeway by driving the wrong way the on ramp at Dunwoody Boulevard. as directed by police.
The incident had a wide ripple effect, leading to gridlock conditions on several arteries that feed into downtown. Northbound 35W was knotted up from Crosstown to downtown Minneapolis while westbound 94 was stopped from Hwy. 280 to downtown. Both of those routes are starting to see some improvement at this hour.
Alternate routes, Hwy. 55 and Glenwood Avenue absorbed some of the 394 traffic and that made those routes bog down during the heart of the rush. Transit even used alternate routes to get around the mess on 394.
At about 9:50 a.m., Minneapolis police reported that the situation on the overpass had been resolved and all 394 lanes were reopened.
Elsewhere, I-694 had a traffic tieup around 8 a.m. with crashes eastbound at Silver Lake Road and westbound at East River Road.
And the rush hour got off to a violent start when a vehicle ran off a freeway ramp in Fridley and rolled several times. The incident occurred at 4:15 a.m. on the ramp from eastbound 694 to East River Road.
All five people riding in the vehicle were injured and taken to hospitals, the State Patrol said.
That incident had the ramp closed for two hours, but it was not the worst traffic tangler of the morning.
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