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Commuters into Napa were left scrambling for alternative routes Friday morning because of a downed utility pole blocking the northbound lanes of Highway 29 in American Canyon.

The pole toppled just after midnight when it was struck by a vehicle, downing downed lines and creating a traffic hazard, American Canyon Police Chief Oscar Ortiz said in a news release.

The collision occurred on Highway 29 between Paoli Loop Road and South Kelly Road. AT&T arrived just prior to 5 a.m. to begin repairs, Ortiz said.

PG&E said the pole was not carrying electrical lines.

Shortly after 9 a.m., law enforcement reported that one lane had been reopened, but that traffic was backed up five miles and it would be a while before normal flow resumed.

Traffic bound for Napa was detouring to Highway 12/Jamieson Canyon Road which had major backups.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.