It's hardly a big snow storm, but snow combined with temperatures at or just below freezing is all it takes to create slick conditions on metro area roads. In turn, that has led to scores of crashes and spin outs that at 8:55 a.m. continuted to mar the morning commute.
"Winter is showing its presence," said MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht. "Slow down, watch for slick spots. Avoid the crash."
Added the State Patrol:""Slow down and give yourself plenty of extra time this morning. And don't forget to buckle up and increase your following distance."
Crashes litter freeways and highways, with the most trouble in the north and west metro. The toughest travel at 8:45 a.m. was on Hwy. 169 between I-394 and Minnetonka Boulevard where a pair of wrecks just cleared.
Another tough spot is southbound I-494 in the vicinity of Baker Road in Minnetonka . Northbound I-494 also crawls along from Crosstown to Minnetonka Boulevard. Traffic was also tangled on eastbound I-494 in Woodbury at the Hwy. 61/Maxwell Avenue area.
Over on Hwy. 7, the eastbound lanes at Louisiana Avenue have reopened after a crash forced authorities to close the highway. One lane was opened at 7:50 a.m.
On Hwy. 100, a semitrailer truck smashed into the center median wall on northbound Hwy. 100 at 70th Street in Edina. The wreck occurred just after 7 a.m., but the effects are still being felt more than an hour later. Both sides of the highway are impacted and it's 45 minutes from I-94 down to I-494 at 8:30 a.m.