Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

According to ehuacom, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota in the United States. Together with the capital St. Paul, both cities form the Twin Cities, an agglomeration with 3,691,000 inhabitants (2021). Minneapolis has a population of 425,000 and St. Paul has a population of 307,000.


According to mcat-test-centers, the metropolitan area is located on the Mississippi River and Minnesota River, in an area of many lakes, a short distance from the Wisconsin border. The city is located 570 kilometers northwest of Chicago, 375 kilometers north of Des Moines and 615 kilometers southeast of Winnipeg. The name Minneapolis comes from Mni, which is Dakota for water and Polis, which is Greek for city. The agglomeration is located on a fairly flat area with forests in which the suburbs are located. The agglomeration has many suburbs, especially south, west and north of the city. Minneapolis and St. Paul are the main centers, but there is also a lot of employment in the suburbs, especially in Bloomington and Minnetonka. Minneapolis, like many cities in the northern United States, is experiencing a population decline in the center city. In 1950 the city had a population of 522,000, which fell to 368,000 in 1990, and has been growing slowly ever since. The same happened in St. Paul, with 313,000 inhabitants in 1960, which shrank to 270,000 in 1980 and has since recovered somewhat. However, the suburbs around the Twin Cities are still growing quite fast. The Twin Cities is known as the coldest major city in the United States, in winter the temperature regularly drops to around -30°C.

Road network

The highway network of the Twin Cities.

The agglomeration has a fairly extensive motorway network. At the Twin Cities, I-35 splits into I-35W and I-35E, which converge north of the city. I-35W runs through Minneapolis, I-35E through St. Paul. I-94 forms an east-west route that comes from the northwest and runs east through downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. I-494 and I-694 together form a 120-kilometer beltway. I-394 is the western exit from Minneapolis. This highway network is supplemented by a number of US Highways that have been developed as highways in the metropolitan area, such as US 10 in the north and southeast of the metropolitan area, US 12 in the far west, US 52 from St. Paul to the south, US 169 forms a north-south in the west of the city and US 212 forms a short highway in the southwest of the metro area. In addition, a number of State Routes have been developed as highways.

The highway network is quite dense, but usually has no more than 2×2 lanes. A number of routes, such as the Interstate Highways, are often better developed with 2×3 or 2×4 lanes. More than that is a rarity. In August 2007, the I-35W bridge collapsed near Minneapolis. This has been rebuilt again, but in the meantime traffic was badly disrupted because the 2×2 SR-280 was used as a diversion route.

List of freeways

length first opening last opening max AADT 2012
63 km 1962 1990 201,000
67 km 1960 1976 260,000
61 km 1965 1985 260,000
15 km 198x 1991 137,000
69 km 1959 1985 160,000
50 km 1962 1970 224,000
45 km 197x 1999 90,000
6 km 197x 197x 77,000
23 km 197x 2004 73,000
51 km 196x 2006 93,000
26 km 1971 2008 105,000
16 km 196x 197x 89,000
23 km 1967 2004 106,000
17 km 196x 1980 87,000
24 km 196x 2005 131,000
6 km ? ? 54,000
13 km 1986 2011 81,000


The Twin Cities has a relatively young highway network. It was the largest conurbation in the United States without a single highway before 1960. At that time, the agglomeration already had almost 2 million inhabitants. When the Interstate Highway system was created in 1956, the construction of the highways in Minneapolis did not start quickly. The first links were built during the 1960s, but the urban area still had a significant number of missing links, and construction of many highways was delayed until well into the 1970s. The only highway that did open somewhat on schedule was the I-694. For example, I-35W had a missing link in Minneapolis until 1976 and I-35E in St. Paul until 1990. In 1983, the last link of I-94 opened in north Minneapolis. The ring structure was also delayed, the I-494 was not ready until 1985. Most other highways were built by converting existing boulevards into highways. This has been going on since the mid 1960s. but it was not until the late 1980s that an extensive suburban network was established. Few new highways have opened since the 1990s, the most prominent new highways being US 169 around Shakopee and State Route 610 in Brooklyn Park. A number of highways and bridges have been widened, most prominently the 10-lane Watoka Bridge on I-494 in South St. Paul. In 2007, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapsed during rush hour. This bridge was one of the most important in the region, causing significant traffic problems until a replacement bridge was built in record time in 2008.


Most highways west and south of Minneapolis have a high I/C rating, with 90,000 to 120,000 vehicles in 2×2 lanes. This is especially true for I-94 through Brooklyn Park, the western half of I-494, and several other freeways in this part of the city. This is less important around St. Paul because there are fewer suburbs here. It is striking that many highways in the region only have 2×2 lanes, although the density of the highway network compensates for this problem. Quite a few freeways are converted city boulevards.

When a bridge or road is widened or replaced, this is usually done fairly broadly, such as the bridge I-35W that went from 2×3 to 2×5 lanes with the replacement and the bridge of the I-494 over the Mississippi River that went from 2×2 to 2×2. 2×5 lanes went. The SR-100 has been upgraded from a 2×2 main road with traffic lights to a 2×3 lane highway. There are plans to widen the ring road entirely to 2×3 lanes.

There are numerous ramp metering installations in the agglomeration, namely 433 units. The first ramp meter was placed in 1969, just 10 years after the opening of the first freeway. In 2000 an investigation was carried out into the consequences of switching off those so-called “Ramp Meters”. When the TDIs were turned off, traffic volume decreased by 9%, journey times increased by 22%, speeds decreased by 7% and the number of accidents increased by 26%.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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