MnPASS east metro plan secures county backing

The Washington County Board added its support March 20 to a MnPASS system for portions of interstates in the east metro by passing a resolution of support. In 2005, the Minnesota Department of Transportation implemented its first MnPASS system by converting the I-394 high-occupancy vehicle lanes into a high-occupancy toll lane system that allowed single-occupant vehicles to use the lanes for a fee. Since then, MnDOT implemented another MnPASS lane system on I-35W south of Minneapolis. In 2010, MnDOT completed a study that identified freeway corridors that would have potential for the implementation of a MnPASS system. For the east metro, those freeway corridors include I-35E, I-35W, Highway 36 and I-94. For 2011-2015, MnDOT is looking at implementing a MnPASS system on I-35E from St. Paul to I-694 and possibly to the north. Extension of the MnPASS lanes north of I-694 would require a change in legislation.