As the Twin Cities Metro area continues to grow and develop, traffic volumes also continue to increase. There are areas along I-494 and Hwy 62 that are experiencing high levels of congestion today.
The study analyzed I-494 and Hwy 62 between the Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) International Airport on the east and the I-494/Hwy 62 interchange on the west. The analysis included adding MnPASS Express Lanes, auxiliary lanes, turn lanes, dynamic shoulders (vehicles use road shoulders as lanes during peak drive times), modifying interchanges, and improving accessibility and travel options for transit. Both highways were studied because improvements to one road is likely to impact the other.
For a copy of the Executive Summary contact Paul Czech at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The results of the study recommend constructing a MnPASS lane in each direction on I-494 between West Bush Lake Rd and Hwy 5. The recommendation is based on directly comparing MnPASS lanes on I-494 to MnPASS lanes on Hwy 62 and how the scenario fits into the overall Twin Cities metro area MnPASS system.
The results of the evaluation do not preclude the possibility of MnPASS being considered on Hwy 62 in the future.
Additionally it was determined the following would be carried forward to a future study vision:
- EB I-494 auxiliary lane between East Bush Lake Rd and SB Hwy 100
- Hwy 62 lane extensions in both directions between I-35W and Hwy 77
- EB Hwy 62 lane extension between Gleason Lake Rd and Hwy 100
- WB Hwy 62 lane extension between Hwy 100 and Gleason Lake Rd
- WB Hwy 62 auxiliary lane from Valley View Rd to Hwy 100
- EB I-494 lane extension between France Ave. and I-35W
- Restriping of weave segment of SB Hwy 169 to WB Hwy 62/Hwy 212
- Restriping of EB I-494 ramp to SB Hwy 77
MnPASS Key Findings
The Met Council's Transportation Policy Plan and MnDOT planning documents recommend a system of MnPASS Express Lanes throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. MnPASS lanes currently exist on I-35W, I-394 and I-35E. Several other corridors are being studied for future MnPASS lanes including the I-494 and Hwy 62 corridors.
I-494 and Hwy 62 are parallel freeways connecting communities to employment and retail destinations in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Richfield and to the MSP Int'l Airport.
- MnPASS on I-494 will have greater combined benefits for both I-494 and Hwy 62 than MnPASS on Hwy 62.
- The total existing annual delay on EB I-494 is greater than both directions of Hwy 62 combined.
- The projected MnPASS volumes are higher on I-494 than on Hwy 62 by more than 1,500 cars during the a.m. and p.m. peak periods combined.
- The person through with MnPASS on I-494 is expected to be approximately 2,600 persons more during the peak periods than with a MnPASS on Hwy 62.
- Peak periods vehicle hours traveled for the study area were projected to be over 2,000 hours less with MnPASS on I-494 versus on Hwy 62.
- The preliminary project cost estimate for MnPASS on I-494 ranges from $199 to $240 million and $165 to $194 million for a MnPASS lane on Hwy 62.
- The initial estimate for a Hwy 62 MnPASS conversion is up to $120 million. The conversion includes a new system interchange at I-494. MnPASS on I-494 is not dependent on a system interchange at Hwy 62. The $120 million cost estimate is not reflected in the $165 to $194 total project cost.
- I-494 has a higher peak period volume of MnPASS trips primarily due to regional trips and the MSP International Airport.
- MnPASS on I-494 better fits the framework of a MnPASS system and users increase on the I-494 MnPASS with additional facilities on Hwy 169 and Hwy 77. Not much additional benefit is derived on the Hwy 62 MnPASS facility with the additional MnPASS facilities on Hwy 169 and Hwy 77.