Needs Assessment Summary
The Needs Assessment review included analyzing:
- Traffic volumes and problems with the flow of traffic (congestion)
- Safety issues
- Physical characteristics of the roads, bridges and surrounding publicly owned land
- Transit routes, users and transit service
- Travel delays
- Future improvements to all planned and funded roads and bridges
- Requests for future transit speed/service improvements
The majority of the total traffic delay on I-494 is on the eastbound lanes between Hwy
169 and I-35W. Traffic on eastbound I-494 can be congested for up to eight hours each
day. The primary causes of congestion include:
- Vehicles entering and merging to eastbound I-494 at France Ave.
- Vehicles merging from I-35W and Hwy 100 to westbound I-494
The number of heavy truck (freight) vehicles on I-494 is three times higher than the
number of heavy truck (freight) vehicles on Hwy 62. Additionally, the percentage of
freight vehicles on I-494 is approximately two times higher than on Hwy 62. The freight
analysis showed that most freight vehicles enter I-494 from northbound Hwy 169.
There were several recurring crashes identified over five years along I-494. Most of the
crashes occurred at the following locations:
- Eastbound I-494, between Hwy 62 and Hwy 169
- I-494/France Ave. interchange
- I-494/Penn Ave. interchange
- I-494/I-35W interchange
Vehicles on Hwy 62 experience less total congestion over one year, relative to I-494.
Motorists traveling on Hwy 62 are delayed longer for each mile traveled than motorists
Major causes of congestion include traffic entering Hwy 62 at the following locations:
- Northbound Hwy 100 to eastbound Hwy 62 in the morning peak
- France Ave. to eastbound Hwy 62 in the evening peak
- Valley View Road to westbound Hwy 62 in the morning peak
- France Ave. to westbound Hwy 62 in the evening peak
- Portland Ave. to eastbound Hwy 62 during morning and evening peaks
The safety assessment showed recurring crash issues immediately south of the Hwy
62/Hwy 77 interchange. The crashes were a result of vehicles traveling northbound on
Hwy 77 to westbound Hwy 62.
Transit Service and Infrastructure on I-494 and Hwy 62
Metro Transit, SouthWest Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA)
operate 35 bus routes on and through I-494 and Hwy 62. Congestion on I-494 and Hwy
62 impacts the time that buses arrive at scheduled bus stops. Improvements on these
roads are necessary to improve the times buses arrive at bus stops.