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Eight is enough for I-94 Corridor plans

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news Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

A study examining transit options for Interstate 94 through Woodbury last week added another consideration: managed lanes.

The MnPASS alternative - which already provides a dedicated lane on west- and south-metro highways for carpoolers, motorcycles, buses and those who pay a fee - marks the eighth option under consideration by the Gateway Corridor Commission.

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The commission is tasked with narrowing the transit options along the interstate between Minneapolis and Eau Claire, Wis., as a solution to an anticipated jump in traffic levels.

The other options under consideration are express buses, rapid-transit buses, light rail and commuter rail for the 90-mile section of road.

Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik, who heads the Gateway Commission, called managed lanes "a completely logical addition to the study."

"It really makes sense to have that managed lane," she said.

The latest option was the brainchild of public input, policy analysis and analysis teams, Weik said.

Managed lanes, like those used on I-394 and I-35W, allow for single-occupancy vehicles - provided those drivers pay a fee to drive in the premium lane. Pricing is based on the amount of congestion in the regular traffic lanes.

The commission is expected to propose a recommendation in March 2012.

From there, the recommendation goes before various county boards for approval before advancing on to additional bureaucratic stops.

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Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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