Traffic is important to Twin Citizens, and the gate malfunctions on 394 have drivers begging for answers. Tim Harlow at the Star Tribune started digging:
On two consecutive morning rush hours and again on Friday, the gate arms on the eastbound side of I-394 where drivers enter the special lane (also known as MnPass) at Hwy. 100 were stuck in the down position. MnDOT could not raise them, and that forced commuters into the general traffic lanes for the rest of their trip to downtown Minneapolis. The westbound lanes were unaffected and the lane reserved for carpools or paying drivers was open as usual.
First came an electrical problem on Jan. 3 when an underground cable froze. MnDOT hooked up a spare cable that had been pre-wired into the system to fix that problem. Then the hydraulic system went haywire last Monday. On Friday, as temperatures warmed and “things underground moved around,” the spare cable went bad and the gates were stuck again. MnDOT installed a temporary above-ground cable and got the gates open. A “more permanent” fix will be made in the spring, said Brian Kary, a MnDOT freeway engineer.
Governor Dayton has continued to stay silent on this inportant issure. Up and At ’Em will continue to follow this story wherever it leads.