A truck that lost its load on northbound I-35W left a real mess on the freeway and caused epic traffic jams for most of Thursday's morning rush hour.

The truck spilled it's cargo all over the freeway at 7th Street near Hiawatha Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, forcing the State Patrol and MnDOT to close two of the three lanes that pass under the overpass.  The accident occurred at 6:30 a.m. and took nearly two hours to clean up.

With that being one of the busiest areas of town, traffic jammed quickly and became gridlocked back to 50th Street, with heavy traffic forming at the Crosstown. At times the trip, normally a 5 to 8 minute trip, was taking some commuters 40 to 50 minutes.  The lanes reopened at 8:15 a.m. and drive times began to drop as traffic flow picked up.  At this hour, it's still 15 to 19 minutes from Hwy. 62 to downtown Minneapolis.

The ripple effect hampered the drive on eastbound 94 and 394.  Traffic clogged up at Olson Hwy. through the Lowry Hill Tunnel.  In turn, eastbound 394 traffic jammed and stacked up back to General Mills Blvd. Things are still tight on 394, but drive times have dropped to about 15 minutes from 494 to 94.

One other hot spot was on westbound 94 at Century Avenue. An injury crash around 8 a.m. led to a mini jam from Century back to the 694/494 interchange.  At present, look for a stalled car on the right shoulder appoaching Century Avenue.

The rest of system moved without any muss or fuss. 

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8:50 a.m. update: Drive times dropping on 35W, 394

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