Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

East metro drivers, prepare for 35E rebuild and MnPass toll lanes

Author:

The east side of the Twin Cities metro area will see its first MnPass toll lanes open in the next year or so. A large reconstruction project underway on I-35E north from downtown St. Paul will improve traffic flow, in part by adding the toll lanes, the Star Tribune reports.

This year's construction action will kick into high gear soon, with the removal of several bridge overpasses next weekend. And drivers will have to live with that construction for nearly two years.

This stretch of 35E is about five miles, from just north of downtown to Little Canada Road, and it is often choked with traffic during rush hour. The MnPass project is an attempt to reduce congestion and improve rush-hour conditions, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The decision to build the MnPass lanes came about when MnDOT started making plans to reconfigure the Cayuga Street interchange south of Maryland Avenue, according to the Star Tribune. The agency said it will save time and money by coordinating the two projects. Construction on the Cayuga Street interchange began last year.

Under the MnPass system, bus riders, car poolers and motorcycles can use the additional lanes for free, while solo drivers have to pay a fee to use them during rush hour. The fee is calculated by a transponder that's placed in the car. Drivers need to buy the transponder, which electronically sets and charges the fees depending on traffic volume, according to MnDOT. The fee averages about $1.25, the agency said.

Two other MnPass projects are already in place in the Twin Cities metro area, on I-394 west of Minneapolis and on I-35W south of the city.

Although the MnPass lanes aren't in operation yet, MnDOT is already planning to study whether they should be extended another 5 miles north, to the Hwy 96 interchange in White Bear Lake, according to the Star Tribune. The agency received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to fund that study. Preliminary results are expected early this summer.

The entire project is expected to be finished late next year.

As for next weekend, both directions of 35E will be closed between I-94 and Hwy. 36 from 10 p.m. on Friday, March 7 to 5 a.m. on Monday, March 10 for the removal of two bridges across the freeway -- the Arlington Avenue and Wheelock Parkway bridges.

This MnDOT video provides an overview of the entire project.

Next Up

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

Related

MnPASS lanes could be added to 35E in St. Paul

MnDOT officials want to add the new lanes and replace three bridges between Pennsylvania Avenue and Little Canada Road. If lawmakers approve the $80 million project, construction along the Interstate could begin next year and be completed in 2015.