As many as ten vehicles were involved in a crash that blocked two lanes of Interstate 94 at Interstate 394 near downtown Minneapolis early Wednesday morning.
The crash happened around 6 a.m. on westbound I-94, just beyond the Lowry Tunnel. No injuries were reported.
A spinout on westbound 394 at Penn Ave. just after 7 a.m. blocked the far left lane, adding another headache to the outbound commute.
Black ice and compacted snow and ice have made even the clearest roads slippery. Compaction happens when the snow gets repeatedly pressed into the road, causing it to bond to the surface when temperatures drop.
When the snow gets that hard, the plow blades just bounce off the ice. MnDOT says warmer temperatures combined with the chemicals they're dropping should help break up the mess.
"We had a very heavy wet snow and the temperatures dropped (Sunday) evening and did create some snow compaction on the roadways," said MnDOT's Kent Barnard. "It becomes a little bit more of an issue for us to try to get it off the roadway."
Temperatures are already on the rise Wednesday morning, which should help put the road salt and chemicals to work. Patchy sun and a few clouds are in the forecast for Wednesday afternoon, with a welcome return to the thawing 30s.