More truck troubles in Lowry Tunnel

More truck troubles in Lowry Tunnel

MINNEAPOLIS - Another truck was involved in a crash inside the Lowry Tunnel. Most trucks are not allowed to be in the tunnel. On Thursday night, MnDOT cameras showed the westbound semi involved in the crash that had traffic diverting from Interstate 94. 

On Tuesday night, a big truck hit an overhead light and damaged the side an electrical box, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation officials.

That’s why they’re reminding drivers of big trucks and buses weighing more than 9,000 pounds that they must avoid the tunnel. The tunnel is under construction and down to only a few lanes of traffic until early August. 

"We have two ten foot wide lanes with a concrete barrier in the middle and no shoulders,” said Dave Aeikens, MnDOT spokesperson.

MnDOT posted signs telling trucks to stay out, yet many are still driving in.

"It's been a lot. We don't have any firm numbers but we're seeing it. We're hoping that getting this information out will help drivers maybe eliminate coming through this area,” said Lt. Tiffani Nielson with the Minnesota State Patrol.

Not all the drivers were breaking the rules. KARE 11 cameras caught a number of them driving around the tunnel, yet still many did not.

"I think sometimes drivers have seen the signs but figure its fine for them to skirt the law. I think there are some truck drivers who are not aware, not familiar with the area,” she said.

So MnDOT is reaching out to trucking organizations to help get the word out. And the state patrol has assigned extra troopers to the tunnel to ticket truckers who are breaking the rules. The fine is $300 and troopers could also assess additional penalties to the truck companies.

“If there is a crash inside the tunnel, the traffic behind won't have any place to move,” she said. "We don't want anyone getting hurt.”

For more information on the Lowry Tunnel detours, click here.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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