Rush-hour traffic in downtown Baltimore is expected to be a mess Monday evening, with several major thoroughfares closed as police investigate a van discovered with 1,000 gallons of gasoline inside it.

Officials asked people to avoid the downtown area bordered by North Charles Street to the west, East Baltimore Street to the north, Commerce Street to the east and East Pratt Street to the south.

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The Charm City Circulator’s Purple route is running an abbreviated route between 33rd and Fayette streets, the Banner Route is running except for one missed stop at Pratt Street, and the Orange and Green routes remain suspended.

Traffic is gridlocked at the southern end of the Jones-Falls Expressway, where Lombard Street is closed at President Street, according to Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kathy Dominick. She advised drivers to avoid the downtown area, if possible.

Because the investigation is ongoing, it’s not clear when the roads might reopen, Dominick said.

“All of the major commuter routes downtown are either closed or significantly impacted by the incident,” Dominick said. “Be prepared to take an alternate route this afternoon as the investigation continues.”

The Transportation Department also warned of traffic light outages in Harbor East and Fells Point, asking drivers to treat darkened signals like four-way stops.

The electric outage about 1:40 p.m. affected about 1,500 people and is expected to be fixed in the next few hours, said BGE spokesman Nick Alexopulos.

“It should be resolved relatively quickly," he said.

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