It's not winter yet, but it sure felt like it on some routes where early crashes led to long backups that persisted throughout the morning crawl. The most problematic routes were I-494, and Hwy. 169 and I-35W in the north metro.
An accident during the 6 a.m. hour at Lyndale Avenue was what led to a jam on westbound I-494. The lineup stretched back to Pilot Knob Road and beyond at times. Then add in the usual cram across the Wakota Bridge and the trip from Woodbury to Bloomington was over 40 minutes.
North metro drivers on southbound Hwy. 169 probably didn't exercise any sympathy. A three-car crash at the I-94 interchange plugged up traffic back to 114th Avenue in Champlin. Once things cleared well after 7 a.m., the congestion didn't loosen much. Even at this hour it is still more than 30 minutes from Hwy. 610 down to the Crosstown.
On southbound 35W, a new wreck at County Road H has traffic at a near standstill just south of Lake Drive. That is a rerun of what happened between 6 and 7 a.m. when a crash in nearly the same spot led to an early jam.
While motorists struggled on the roads, Northstar riders on trip 4 from Big Lake to Minneapolis ran 14 minutes late. That was due to heavy rail traffic, Metro Transit said.