Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Innovative contracting

Innovative contracting methods

Lane rental

Lane rental charges a rental fee to contractors to minimize road-user impacts.  The contract includes a rental fee based on the estimated cost of delay or inconvenience to the road user. Fees cover the time the contractor occupies or obstructs part of the roadway. 

The amount of total lane rental charges a contractor proposes for a projects can be combined with the cost for the work items to determine the successful bidder.

Rental fees

The contract states rental fee rates in dollars per lane per time period – usually daily, but can be broken down hourly or fractions of an hour.  Rental fee rates are dependent on the number and type of lanes closed and may vary for different hours of the day for a project.

When to use lane rental

  • Lane rental can be used on projects with significant impacts to motorists.
  • Safety needs to be addressed with every lane-rental project. Plans and specifications should identify cases when lane closures (clear-zones, drop-offs) will be required to reduce the chance that contractors will take safety risks to reduce lane-rental charges.


  • Encourages contractors to schedule work to minimize traffic restrictions in duration and lane closures
  • Better public perception due to fewer un-utilized lane closures.
  • Ideal for projects that significantly affect traveling public
  • Useful in major urban-area projects and rural projects with flagging operations


  • Requires additional effort to monitor lane closure times
  • Potential added costs to project

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