MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drivers will wake up on Friday to find a whole new way to drive on Interstate 35W.The I-35W MnPASS Express Lanes open through the Crosstown area at 6 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said that it will help ease congestion on one of the busiest roads in Minnesota.

MnDOT is also calling it the “next generation road, demonstrating how transportation experts are maximizing existing roads and using technology to provide motorists with multi-modal choices.”

The MnPASS lanes give drivers the option to pay to use the express lanes that run from south suburbs to downtown Minneapolis. Carpoolers, motorcyclists and buses can use the lanes for free.

MnDOT said 90 percent of all trips on MnPASS Express Lanes cost $2.50 or less.

Right now, the lane runs for 16 miles, but by the end of 2011, there will be two more miles added when new lanes open between Burnsville Parkway and Southcross Drive in Burnsville, Minn.

For more information on how to get a MnPASS account, click here.

The transponder you get when opening an account works on the MnPASS Express Lanes on both I-35W and the existing lanes on Interstate 394.

  1. Andrew says:

    What about about North Suburbs??

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