MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to add new MnPASS lanes in the north metro just outside of the Twin Cities.
On Friday, a MnDOT project manager said the path would go in about a 14-mile stretch of I-35W, between Highway 36 in Roseville and Lexington Avenue in Blaine.READ MORE: Hopkins Police Investigating Homicide At Apartment Building
Jerome Adams said construction on the project would not start until 2019, but MnDOT must persuade lawmakers to provide funding for the estimated $120 million to $180 million project right now.
Adams said the project would impact traffic in several communities, including Roseville, Arden Hills, Moundsview, Shoreview, Blaine, Circle Pines and Lexington.
“This segment of highway is showing some of the worst congestion in the entire metro,” Adams said.
Adams said engineers crunched the numbers all summer to research MnPASS options and the result shows adding a MnPASS lane in both directions is the best way to speed up commute times along I-35W just north of the Twin Cities.READ MORE: Mass Casualty Simulation Helps Nat'l Guard, Children's Minnesota Practice Treating Kids
“A MnPASS lane is moving a lane-and-a-half to two lanes [more volume than] a regular lane,” Adams said.
Adams said engineers came to this conclusion after looking at results from the 5-year-old MnPASS lanes along I-35W just south of the Twin Cities from Minneapolis to Burnsville.
Adams said MnDOT explored other possibilities, including adding more lanes that everyone can use, but found MnPASS to be the most efficient, especially when it comes to increasing the number of people taking public transit.
“Only 5 percent of the vehicles in the lane are buses, but they’re moving 41 percent of the people,” Adams said.MORE NEWS: Amid Missionary Hostage Crisis, Minnesotan From Port-Au-Prince Wishes 'Haiti Would Get The Help They Need'
Public meetings will soon begin so drivers can weigh in on adding MnPASS lanes or some other type of traffic fix for the north metro.