Minnesota's Smart Lanes using intelligent lane control signals (ILCS) and real-time transit and traffic DMS cost $22.6 million to install and $300K annually to operate.

January 4, 2013

Summary Information

As part of its Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) to reduce congestion on I-35W South, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) deployed active traffic management (ATM) strategies including intelligent lane control signals (ILCS) and transit and highway travel-time dynamic message signs (DMS) as ITS technologies contributing to congestion reduction.

MnDOT uses "Smart Lanes" to refer to the ATM components on I-35W South. The ATM elements were deployed on I-35W in two phases from 2009 to 2010 and were fully operational in July 2010. The system includes 174 intelligent lane control signals (ILCS) at gantries spaced every 0.5 miles on I-35W from Burnsville to downtown Minneapolis. The use of ILCS is primarily for speed harmonization and incident management. The signs display travel times for buses using MnPass HOT lanes and for vehicles in the general-purpose freeway travel lanes.

The system automatically activates advisory speeds in advance of congested areas, typically one to one-half mile upstream of congested areas. The speeds are advisory only.

As part of UPA, DMSs displaying real-time transit and traffic travel times were deployed at strategic locations along I-35W South, where motorists could access park-and-ride lots to take transit.

The UPA evaluation found that travel speeds increased overall in the corridor. ATM speed harmonization may have supported the increase in throughputs on I-35W South.

Representatives from law enforcement, first responders, and transit operators indicated that the ILCSs were effective in slowing down traffic and moving traffic to other lanes in the case of a crash. State patrol officers and first responders further indicated the ILCS enhanced their ability to respond to crashes and help maintain traffic flow during incidents.

System Cost Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this System Cost

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


Urban Partnership Agreement: Minnesota Evaluation Report

Author: Turnbull, K., et. al.

Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation

Source Date: January 4, 2013


System Cost

MnDOT's ILCS and real-time traffic and transit DMS signs (in 2009 dollars): $22,558,642.

MnDOT's annual operating & maintenance costs (in 2009 dollars): $300,000.


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this System Cost

(click stars to rate)

Cost ID: 2014-00308