MnPASS: I-394 HOT Lane Conversion

Minneapolis, Minnesota

SRF was the lead designer on the team selected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to design, build and operate Minnesota’s first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane under the MnPASS program. The MnPASS program converted underused High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to HOT lanes through the deployment of ITS technologies to toll single-occupancy users of the system. The I-394 MnPASS lane is the first toll lane in the country that converted an existing HOV lane to a HOT lane.

The project included a nine-mile section of corridor with a reversible lane section length of three miles. Five access points in each direction of travel allow users to enter and exit the system. Fifteen dynamic message signs have been deployed along the corridor to display system pricing and operation status. In addition, all existing HOV signs were overlaid with new sign graphics. The system is a no-cash, debit system; users purchase a transponder and prepay for use. The system began operation in May 2005.

SRF’s work on the project included:

  •  Project management
  •  Defining system requirements
  •  Planning and design
    • Traffic modeling and analysis
    • Concept of operations
    • System requirements
    • Project architecture
    • System design
    • Work plan/deployment plan
  • Operations, maintenance and enforcement plan
  • Construction management and inspection
  • System operations analysis



  • 2006 Institute of Transportation Engineers Transportation Achievement Award for Operations
  • 2006 International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association Award in the Operations Category
  • 2006 Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s Best of ITS Awards in the Partnership Deployment Category
  • 2006 American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota Honor Award
  • 2005 TEAMFL Chairman’s Award for Innovative Design
  • 2006 FHWA Excellence in Highway Design Awards Intelligent Transportation Systems Category
  • 2008 TRB HOV Leadership Award