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Lane Closure Manual

A Resource for Construction on Mn/DOT Roads in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area

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The Lane Closure Manual (LCM) is used to determine the appropriate time of day for planned lane closures in the Metropolitan District. Other Mn/DOT documents, such as the Temporary Traffic Control Field Manual from the Minnesota Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MnMUTCD), should be used for determining the appropriate method and rationale, the "how" and "why", for lane closures.

The lane closures shown as allowable in this manual will not require a diversion or detour of traffic and should not require advance notice to the public. The term "Advance Notice" refers to placing notification signing on the roadway that will be impacted in advance of the date of actual work.

The design of lane closures that involves two or more adjacent roadway segments should be performed using the allowable lane closure guidelines from the most restrictive road segment involved.

For various reasons, not all projects and repairs can be performed using planned lane closures that fall within the "allowable" ranges found in this manual. When projects must close more lanes than shown as allowable or during prohibited times, the project should be considered a "Project of Significance" and Metro Traffic Engineering representatives should be contacted prior to performing the closure. A Project of Significance requires an elevated traffic management planning track to address the Minnesota Rule on WorkZone Safety and Mobility.

The guidelines established by this manual are not intended to apply to emergency road maintenance and repairs that must be performed without planning. The judgment of field staff and necessity of the situation should determine the course of action in those cases.

All lane closures must be submitted as a request using this form - Lane Closure Form. Complete this form and submit 2-3 business days before the scheduled closure by email to MetroLC.DOT@state.mn.us. See the form for more details.

It is recommended that you first read the background section for instructions on the use of the manual. For additional help or information, see the contacts list below.

Check this site frequently for updates. The reports on this site will be refreshed as needed. Since 2003, the LCM has only been available online.

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Traffic congestion and backups may contribute to the cause of crashes and motorist delays. Traffic management practices that attempt to reduce congestion have a documented positive effect on crash rates, motorist travel times, and travel time reliability. Planned lane closures that do not cause a traffic flow "bottleneck" will cause only minor to moderate levels of congestion and backup and are an effective traffic management strategy. Metro District Traffic Engineering staff prepared this manual to provide information useful for making lane closure decisions that will reduce congestion and gain the benefits mentioned above.

The purpose of the Lane Closure Manual is to provide information useful for advance planning of lane closures that will minimize traffic impacts and motorist delays while promoting safety for work crews and the traveling public. The Lane Closure Manual is applicable to highways in the Metropolitan District.


For locations with RTMC detectors, median traffic flow values for each day and hour have been figured and tabulated. Lane closure information for roads without RTMC detectors was prepared using tube counts. The data is analyzed and formatted to display "Allowable Lane Closure" figures based on roadway location and time of day.

Determination of allowable lane closures is based on the Highway Capacity Manual and practical experience. It is usually figured that for the first 1800 vehicles per hour of traffic volume demand, one lane must be available. Any traffic volume above 1800 through 3600 vehicles per hour will require a second lane. Volumes greater than 3600 through 5600 vehicles per hour will require a third lane. These "open lane" requirements are based on documented findings and observations that traffic flows less efficiently past work zones than it does through non-work zones.

Compiling and interpreting data for this application is subject to certain constraints and considerations. Seasonal and even daily traffic volume fluctuations are normal and will be observed frequently. The actual median traffic volume value seldom occurs, but a volume that is close to the median will often occur. The "Allowable Lane Closure" figures given in this manual have been smoothed to remove some of these data fluctuations and to make this manual easier to apply in the field. Special events and detours on other nearby parallel and intersecting roads may also change traffic volume patterns on a highway. These special circumstances must be observed and managed in the field as they occur.

The manual is divided into sections by roadway and each roadway is divided into segments. Segments are generally determined by the number of continuous lanes available along a highway corridor. The index maps illustrate where each roadway is broken down into numbered segments. The numbered segment directs the user to the correct page of the manual that provides tabulated traffic data. A system of shading is used to display the number of lanes that can be closed for each hour of the day. Users should note that lane closures on signalized roads have special Allowable Lane Closure figures that depend on the proximity of the closure to the signals. A lane closure that is closer than 500 feet to the signal may reduce the number of lanes that can be closed.

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Lane Closure Manual Reports

Highway Last Updated Comments
I35 July 2012  
I35E April 2010  
I35W February 2011  
I94 December 2011  
I394 February 2011  
I494 October 2011  
I694 April 2010  
MN5 November 2009  
MN7 December 2011  
MN36 February 2011  
MN47 December 2011  
MN55 May 2015  
MN62 December 2011  
MN65 June 2011  
MN77 February 2011  
MN100 October 2010  
MN110 October 2010  
MN252 December 2011  
MN280 December 2011  
US10 December 2011  
US52 October 2010  
US61 February 2011  
US169 November 2009  
US212 June 2011  

This manual does not cover all metropolitan area roads and also does not deal with freeway ramps. If work requires a lane or ramp closure, then Metro Division Traffic Engineering should be contacted. Any other questions about special event impacts and public notification requirements should also be referred to Traffic. Questions about traffic data should be directed to Metro District Traffic Engineering or the RTMC.

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The Lane Closure Manual is presented here in Portable Document Format (PDF). You must use Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, print, or download each section of the Lane Closure Manual. Adobe Acrobat Reader software can be downloaded for free.

To view sections of the Lane Closure Manual, click on the appropriate individual link in the index (above). To return to this page to download additional roadway files, click the back arrow in the upper left corner of your browser window. To download some helpful tips for navigating Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, select this link: Tips.

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Contacts & Links

For questions regarding:
  • Closures on roadways not included in the manual
  • Closures outside of "allowable" ranges
  • Closures on freeway ramps
  • Special event planning
  • Public notification requirements



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