Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Rethinking I-94

I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul

Visit our online open house

Review information about the project, environmental documentation phase and provide your feedback!

Check out the online open house

About this project

Rethinking I-94 in Minneapolis study area map.

Rethinking I-94 study area map
Click image for larger version

Construction of I-94 in the 1960s destroyed homes, disconnected neighborhoods and led to a pattern of community distrust with the Minnesota Highway Department — now MnDOT. MnDOT started Rethinking I-94 in 2016 to develop a new vision with the community. MnDOT is committed to doing better. Rethinking I-94 intends to reconnect neighborhoods, revitalize communities and ensure residents have a meaningful voice in transportation decisions that affect their lives.

Environmental documentation phase

The current phase focuses on continuing engagement with I-94 communities, developing and evaluating alternatives for I-94, and identifying actions to address I-94 needs. This is done as part of the environmental documentation process established in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).

Materials available for public review

We have compiled several materials for public review available below. If you would like to submit a comment about the project, please fill out our comment form.

  • Summary of draft documents: Summary (PDF)
  • Draft Purpose and Need: The purpose and need statement explains why MnDOT is undertaking a project and the main objectives of the project. The “need” identifies the transportation problems to be addressed by the project. The “purpose” is a broad statement of the intended transportation results of the project.
  • Draft Logical Termini: These termini establish the general limits, the boundaries or the start and end points, for build alternatives that will be considered as part of the environmental review process.
  • Draft Statement of Goals: Beyond the program of projects’ purpose, improvements will support broader community goals identified in Rethinking I-94 Phase 1.
  • Draft Evaluation Criteria: Evaluation criteria are the measures and metrics used to evaluate a range of alternatives that could meet the project’s Purpose and Need while identifying and considering potential social, economic, and environmental (SEE) impacts.

What is NEPA?

NEPA was established on Jan. 1, 1970. NEPA was the first major environmental law in the United States. It requires Federal agencies, and those using federal funding, to assess environmental impacts of proposed federal actions/projects prior to making decisions. The act establishes a federal responsibility to:

  • Assure safe, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings
  • Preserve important historic, cultural and natural aspects
  • Balance between people and resource use

NEPA process

  • Public Involvement – MnDOT is committed to increasing transparency and collaboration and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to participate in public engagement.
  • Interagency coordination – Collaborative decision making with federal, state and local agencies is key to achieving environmentally responsible transportation decisions.
  • Purpose and need – The purpose and need statement explains why MnDOT is undertaking the proposed
  • action and what its objectives are.
  • Alternatives – A range of proposed alternatives are compared and evaluated to select a preferred alternative.
  • Impacts Part of the alternatives comparison includes estimating social, economic and environmental impacts of each alternative.
  • Mitigation – The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make decisions that are based on understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment.
  • Documentation – The purpose of documenting the NEPA process provides for complete disclosure to the public; allows others an opportunity to provide input and comment on proposals, alternatives, and environmental impacts; and provides the appropriate information for the decision maker to make a reasoned choice among alternatives.

For more information on NEPA, visit FHWA NEPA transportation Decisionmaking or Highway Project Development Process.

Scoping Decision Document

A Scoping Decision Document (SDD) is required by the state Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The scoping decision document is used before preparing an EIS to refine the scope of the EIS, identify potential significant issues relevant to the project, and define the alternatives for the EIS. Public involvement is important in developing the SDD including a formal public review of the Draft Scoping Decision Document.

For more information on scoping decision documents, visit Highway Project Development Process.

Section 106 Review Process

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires federal agencies to evaluate effects of federally funded projects on historic properties and archaeological resources. As the delegated agent for the Federal Highway Administration, MnDOT’s Cultural Resources Unit (CRU) is leading the Section 106 review process for Rethinking I-94.

For more information, visit Section 106 Review Process webpage.

Livability

Rethinking I-94 is a long-term effort to improve our engagement and relationships with communities along I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The geographic limits of Rethinking I-94 reflect both portions of the two cities most impacted by the freeway’s initial construction and areas where traffic, safety and highway improvements are most needed.

We started Rethinking I-94 in 2016 to develop a new vision for I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Through Rethinking I-94, we are prioritizing the well-being of those who live, work and play along the corridor with the goal of enhancing mobility, safety and interconnectivity.

We will be hosting a series of virtual workshops throughout 2021 and information on upcoming workshops will be posted as details become available. In the meantime, catch up on the discussion from our previous workshops:

As we move forward with this study, we will continue to engage with the public and our partners to develop a plan for the corridor. The public will have numerous opportunities to comment on alternatives and impacts, make suggestions, and offer ideas for improving the livability in neighborhoods surrounding the interstate.

For more information, visit the livability webpage.