Project work in 2016
In 2016, we extended the I-35E MnPASS Express Lanes connecting the St. Paul/Maplewood MnPASS lanes to the northeastern part of the Twin Cities. Due to the unique layout of the I-35E/I-694 commons area, we decided to provide a MnPASS lane southbound through the commons during the morning commute, but to leave the northbound direction as a general lane during the afternoon—causing a gap in the northbound MnPASS lane between Little Canada Rd. and Co. Rd. E. We wanted to evaluate the performance of MnPASS in the I-35E/I-694 commons before implementing it in both directions.
MnPASS lanes perform well through the I-35E/I-694 commons; however, some drivers are confused with the “gap” in MnPASS when traveling north. In addition, enforcement of MnPASS is difficult due to lack of continuity of the MnPASS lane. Therefore, we connected the northbound MnPASS lane between Little Canada Rd. and Co. Rd. E. This provides a consistent MnPASS lane in both directions on I-35E during busy commuting hours.
Study completed in 2015
The Federal Highway Administration awarded MnDOT a Value Pricing Pilot Program grant to study the feasibility of extending MnPASS Express Lanes on I-35E between Little Canada Rd. and County Rd. 96 in the northeastern part of the Twin Cities.
The I-35E MnPASS Extension Study developed and evaluated alternatives for extending MnPASS on I-35E from Little Canada Rd. through the bottleneck at I-35E/I-694, to Co. Rd. 96. Community stakeholders and corridor users analyzed the design, operation, benefits, costs and public acceptability of each alternative. Community stakeholders also helped identify and evaluate methods for improving bus transit and carpool use in the MnPASS Express Lanes on I-35E.