Highways & Roads

The backbone of our regional transportation system

The 17,500 miles of highways and roads in our region support flexible and independent travel for millions of people daily. Trucks move nearly 75% of all freight within, through, and beyond the region on our highways and roads. The benefits of this system are immense, both to our personal lives and to our regional economy.

Future investments in the regional highway system will focus on continuing to operate, maintain, and rebuild infrastructure, and enhancing safety and security. Implementing affordable congestion management strategies, expanding management technologies, and improving bicycle and pedestrian options will enhance our roads and highways.

Sensitivity Analysis of Twin Cities Highway Mobility Studies (2020)

This joint study with MnDOT applies MnDOT’s methodology in the Greater Minnesota Mobility Study (2018) to roadways in the Twin Cities. The sensitivity analysis compares the results of the new methodology to other recent Twin Cities highway mobility studies to see if similar locations showed highway mobility and reliability issues. More about the Sensitivity Analysis of Twin Cities Highway Mobility Studies (PDF).

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak – Metro Area Travel Declines (2020)

An analysis of more than 1,000 freeway traffic monitoring stations across the metropolitan area and beyond show that Minnesotans are doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by reducing travel and staying home. Travel decreased steadily in the days following Minnesota’s first COVID-19 case. More about the COVID-19 Metro Area Travel Study

Twin Cities Mobility Needs Analysis (2020)

This joint study with MnDOT seeks to understand how and where we can make highway investments that improve regional travel times and reliability. We will examine how best to measure highway mobility and set targets within those measures to help guide MnDOT funding decisions. The goal is to identify the investment needed to meet the region’s highway mobility needs over the next 20 years. The study findings will be incorporated into the 2021-22 Minnesota State Highway Investment Plan update. More about the Twin Cities Mobility Needs Analysis

Freeway System Interchange Study (2020)

The study began in the second half of 2018 and evaluates and prioritizes significant investments that could be made to improve safety and mobility at interchanges where freeways cross each other. More about the Freeway System Interchange Study

County Arterial Preservation Study (2018)

This study evaluated the current condition of roadway pavement on the county-owned parts of the Regional Highway System. It used various general preservation costs over the life of a roadway and current spending levels to estimate the region’s ability to maintain roads in a state of good repair through 2040. Additional data collection is underway to finalize this work.

Congestion Management Safety Plan Study (2017)

This study evaluated lower cost spot mobility improvements on MnDOT’s highways within our region. The study recommended improvements included in the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan Update. More about the Congestion Management Safety Plan (PDF)

MnPASS System Study Phase 3 (2017)

MnDOT studied the region’s freeways to consider where High Occupancy Toll Lanes (called MnPASS in Minnesota) might be an effective strategy to provide congestion relief and long-term reliable trips for transit, High Occupancy Vehicles and drivers will to pay a fee. More about the MnPass System Study Phase 3 (PDF)

Principal Arterial Intersection Conversion Study (2017)

This study considered where an interchange or other bridged crossing might be an effective solution for safety and mobility concerns at intersections in the region. The study resulted in a prioritized list for these types of improvements.

Truck Freight Corridors Study (2017)

The Metropolitan Council embarked on a regional study of truck highway corridors. The study identified the region’s key truck corridors based on current truck usage and other factors. The results informed the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan that was adopted in the fall of 2018. More about the Truck Freight Corridor Study

"A" Minor Arterial System Evaluation (2012)

This study evaluated whether the region's “A” Minor Arterial system is successfully supplementing the Principal Arterial system. More about the A Minor Arterial System Evaluation

Metropolitan Highway System Investment Study (2010)

This study identifies methods to achieve the greatest efficiency from the Twin Cities' highway system and manage congestion from a system-wide perspective. More about the Metropolitan Highway System Investment Study (MHSIS)

Principal Arterial Study (2008)

This study was undertaken jointly with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to answer questions related to the 2004 update of the 2030 Transportation Policy Plan (TPP). More about the Principal Arterial Study

Functional Roadway Classification

Functional roadways classifications identify what function roadways should perform before determining street widths, speed limits, intersection control or other design features. The classifications also determine which routes should be part of the metropolitan highway system and which should receive regionally-allocated federal funds. More about Functional Roadway Classification

Metro Freeway Project Approval

The Metropolitan Council is responsible for approving major highway projects within the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Metro Freeway Project Approval in Minnesota Statute 473.166 exists so that freeways in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area are developed consistently with the region’s long-range Transportation Policy Plan. The law applies to any project that is within the Metropolitan Council region. That includes the following counties with certain exceptions: Anoka, Carver and Dakota, except Northfield and Cannon Falls; Hennepin, except Hanover and Rockford; Ramsey; and Scott, except New Prague and Washington. More about Metro Freeway Project Approval.

Right of Way Acquisition Loan Fund

RALF is a revolving loan fund program to acquire property located within an officially-mapped metropolitan highway right-of-way that is threatened by development. More about the Right of Way Loan Acquisition Loan Fund (RALF)