Drivers Asked to Weigh in on Possible MnPASS Lanes for I-494

February 09, 2017 10:22 PM

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is considering adding MnPASS lanes in the southern Twin Cities metro area.

Southern metro portions of Interstate 494 and Highway 62 arguably see a lot of congestion. Now, MnDOT is floating an idea to make future commutes easier by adding a MnPASS lane on Interstate 494 which could, in turn, ease congestion on Highway 62.

They could be installed on Interstate 494 from the west metro east of the airport, but the priorities weigh heavily on driver input.

Roughly 143,000 cars use Interstate 494 near the airport on average each day.

"Putting a MnPASS lane on 494 also would relieve some of the congestion on 62," Bobbie Dahlke with MnDOT said regarding the possible project.

Highway 62 runs parallel and can sometimes be seen as another option to a busy, backed-up Interstate 494. But these days the average use of the Crosstown by the airport has reached about 109,000 drivers a day.

"Now what were finding is there are some parallel local roads in between that people are using too because 62 and 494 are so bad," Dahlke said.

However, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

MnDOT has released a survey for drivers to help choose what types of changes they'd like to see. Questions include how far a MnPASS lane should stretch along Interstate 494 as well as how drivers prioritize other possible additional projects that could better serve the entire area.

"If we had the money to do it all we would do it all but we just don't have he money to do it all," Dahlke said.

This possible project is only in its very beginning stages and is years away from becoming a reality.

In just two days, more than 1,000 people have already completed the online survey. It will be posted through March 3rd. You can take the survey here.




Katherine Johnson

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