Westbound I-494 reopens in Mendota Heights after load fell off flatbed

The westbound lanes of Interstate 494 are back open at Interstate 35E Tuesday morning as Minnesota Department of Transportation crews removed an item that had fallen off a flatbed truck and forced the road to be closed.

The metal structure about 12 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet was removed from the traffic lanes about 8:50 a.m. The westbound lanes were closed for about an hour, said MnDOT spokeswoman Anne Meyer.

The item landed on top of the concrete barrier separating eastbound from westbound traffic, and spilled partially into the westbound lanes, prompting the closure. The bridge also is under construction, so "that is always a tight spot," Meyer said.

The item that fell off the truck was not related to the construction project, Meyer said

Traffic was diverted off I-494 onto I-35E. The closure on I-494 led to a 30-minute delay, with traffic stacked up as far back as Delaware Avenue.

The eastbound lanes of I-494 remain open.