Semi loses cargo of potatoes, shuts down Twin Cities freeway

A semi carrying potatoes lost its load along Interstate 494
A semi carrying potatoes lost its load along Interstate 494 in South St. Paul on Saturday.
Minnesota State Patrol

Updated: 3:10 p.m. | Posted: 8:20 a.m.

A semi carrying potatoes lost its cargo Saturday morning along Interstate 494 in the southeast Twin Cities metro area, causing a shutdown of the westbound lanes for more than four hours.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that the incident happened at about 6:40 a.m. when the semi’s load shifted near Hardman Avenue in South St. Paul. The agency tweeted a photo of a semi trailer that had split open, with potatoes scattered on the highway just west of the Wakota Bridge.

The westbound lanes of 494 in that area "will be closed for a significant period of time. Find an alternate route," the Patrol said just before 8 a.m.

The Patrol reported at about 12:15 p.m. that the highway had reopened. The trailer was carrying 40,000 to 45,000 potatoes when it split open, the Patrol said.

During the morning hours, traffic cameras showed lengthy traffic backups across the Wakota Bridge. That stretch of freeway already has seen congestion due to road construction, with ramp closures in place at Concord Avenue.

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