Freeway System Interchange Study

The Metropolitan Council partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to conduct a study of 56 Twin Cities locations where at least two freeways meet. Examples of these locations:

  • I-35W at I-694 in Arden Hills and New Brighton
  • I-94 at I-494 / I-694 in in Oakdale and Woodbury

People want interchanges that allow various forms of transportation to move freely and safely whether driving, using public transit or carrying freight. As crashes happen and traffic volumes grow, we need to plan for safer, more efficient designs that keep people moving.


Of the 56 system interchanges in the Twin Cities, 17 were prioritized for solution development. For each of these locations, the study team developed at least one, and in many cases more than one, cost-effective improvements. 

  • The study team developed 66 possible improvements, ranging in estimated cost from under $10 million to over $100 million, where estimated benefits are greater than estimated costs.

  • Local, regional and state planners and engineers will consider these results as funding opportunities present themselves and as agencies develop preservation projects.

  • To advance any of these solutions, planners and engineers will need to reconsider and refine the improvements as part of project development and the formal environmental process, which will examine the details of the local transportation context and impacts.
    Map of highway interchange study results

Study goals

Like the Congestion Management and Safety Plan (PDF), MnPASS, and the Principal Arterial Intersection Conversion studies, these study results are intended to be included in the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan. This study:Aerial view of a highway interchange

  • Systematically addressed concentrations of congestion and crashes at system interchanges (i.e. interchanges where at least two freeways meet) in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
  • Researched the level of congestion, reliability, safety, freight, and transit at each interchange
  • Identified high priority interchanges for further analysis
  • Considered a range of alternatives at various scales at each priority location
  • Evaluated each alternative for its benefits and costs
  • Mapped improvements developed in this study with planned bridge and pavement preservation work.

The solutions developed in this study can improve the Twin Cities freeways at these targeted locations to continue supporting and improving economic vitality and quality of life in our region.

Study participation

The Technical Advisory Committee provides a forum to shape this study with participation from staff who represent:

  • The seven counties in the metro area
  • Wright and Sherburne counties
  • Municipal governments
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • MnDOT
  • The Metropolitan Council

Agency staff and the consultant, SRF Consulting Group, Inc. shared key milestones with several of the region's  transportation-related standing committees including the Transportation Advisory Board, its subcommittees, the Congestion Management Process Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee.

Contact us

Tony Fischer
Metropolitan Council
[email protected]
Michael Corbett
[email protected]