The Gateway Corridor overlays Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 12 from the St. Croix River Bridge to Saint Paul. The Gateway Corridor is the only corridor in the Twin Cities metropolitan area that connects urban, suburban and rural communities across two states.
The Gateway Corridor is a destination. The corridor is a vital connection between Saint Paul – Minneapolis and its eastern suburbs and rural areas. It’s an entryway to and from Minnesota and Wisconsin’s diverse communities. Not only does the Gateway Corridor represent the entryways to urban, suburban and rural areas, but it also signifies the corridor’s role as an important link to corporate campuses, educational institutions, and commercial and recreational destinations.
Almost 300,000 people live along the corridor, and nearly 90,000 vehicles cross the St. Croix River Bridge into the Gateway Corridor each day. By the time one reaches downtown Saint Paul, the number of vehicles increases to 150,000. In addition to the high volume of traffic, the Gateway Corridor is also home to some of Minnesota's largest corporations and employers, including Imation, 3M, The Hartford Financial, Ecolab and Securian Financial.
Yes. The Gateway Corridor is identified as a potential transitway in the Metropolitan Council 2030 Transportation Policy Plan. However, while the corridor is identified as a potential transitway, no highway expansion projects are in the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (Mn/DOT’s) 20 year plan to accommodate the growth in the corridor.
The Gateway Corridor adds regional balance to the Twin Cities hub-and-spoke transit system – allowing commuters from the east metro to travel to downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis, with connections to other destinations in the metropolitan area. The Gateway Corridor also serves as a vital connection to the Union Depot in Saint Paul, a transit hub that will connect commuters to additional transit lines, including high-speed rail from the Twin Cities to Chicago.
The Gateway Corridor Commission is moving forward with an Alternatives Analysis Study, which will determine the necessary mode of transit. The scope of the study will be Saint Paul - Minneapolis to western Wisconsin. Upon completion of the study in the spring of 2012, final decisions regarding the mode of transit and route will be determined by the Metropolitan Council and Ramsey and Washington County Regional Railroad Authorities. In addition to the Alternative Analysis study, the Gateway Corridor Commission is working to develop partnerships to help work on enhancing the corridor.
The Gateway Corridor Alternatives Analysis is funded through a combination of federal funds, the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Washington and Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authorities, and the Metropolitan Council.
To accurately estimate potential transit ridership, it is essential to include Minneapolis, Eau Claire and western Wisconsin in the study. Each day, nearly 90,000 vehicles cross the St. Croix River Bridge into Minnesota and the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Eau Claire, River Falls and Hudson are economic hubs that direct commerce and workers into Saint Paul – Minneapolis. In addition to the traffic generated from Wisconsin commuters, a significant percentage of workers in downtown Minneapolis commute each day from Woodbury.
Yes. Communities, officials, businesses, and residents in both Wisconsin and Minnesota will be engaged throughout the planning process to determine the location of the route and transit stations. Community open houses will be held throughout different areas of the Gateway Corridor to discuss the proposed transit upgrades and will allow for residents and stakeholders to receive updates and provide feedback.
Many different types of transit service were initially considered for their relevance and potential benefits to the Gateway Corridor. After evaluation, four types of technology, or transit modes, were identified for evaluation: light rail transit (LRT), commuter rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), and conventional and express bus (such as Metro Transit and other providers operate currently).
Click here for more information on these modes.
In combination with the different modes identified above, there are several different alignments that are being examined in the AA, including:
The term ‘managed lane’ designates a category of infrastructure and technology improvements within an existing highway which combine to offer travelers a less congested path as they travel within the highway. There are many forms of managed lanes, including a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane for carpools and buses (free), a high occupancy toll (HOT) lane for carpools and buses (free) plus available space for a fee (toll) for single-occupant vehicles. The new MnPass lanes on I-394 and I-35W are forms of managed lanes.
Click here for more information on these routes.
With input from the local communities, the study will look at different station locations based on the mode and alignment, population/density areas, business/commercial areas, redevelopment or new development opportunities, spacing between stations, and other factors. A transit station can range from a stop located within a neighborhood with little parking or other amenities to a 500 space park-and-ride ramp connected to surrounding development.
The alternatives that make it through the initial screening will undergo detailed evaluation including ridership forecasting, conceptual design, capital and operating costs, and environmental and community issues. The evaluation will be driven by potential ridership, FTA’s cost-effectiveness index (CEI), environmental and sustainability issues, and the level of stakeholder support. Results will be drafted as a matrix with supporting narrative and presented to the committees and the public.
Two advisory committees, one composed of technical staff and one of elected/appointed officials or key staff have been established to review and guide the study’s technical work. The advisory committees will make recommendations to the Gateway Corridor Commission, which will in turn make recommendations to the county Regional Railroad Authorities. The county railroad authorities will make recommendations to the Metropolitan Council, which will make the final decision on a preferred course of action, called a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is composed of senior technical staff representing communities and agencies in the corridor who advise the Policy Advisory Committee on the activities and findings of the alternatives analysis process. The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) is composed of elected/appointed officials or key staff representing communities and agencies in the corridor who advise the Gateway Corridor Commission on the activities and findings of the alternatives analysis process.
No. The Gateway Corridor's Alternative Analysis Study will not include an analysis of the proposed high-speed rail line from Chicago. High-speed rail is a form of passenger rail transit that connects regions, such as the Twin Cities and Chicago, to each other at speeds between 110 – 220 miles per hour. It differs from commuter rail, which is focused on helping people get around within a region. Mn/DOT and WIDOT are evaluating high speed rail between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee in a separate study.
The Alternatives Analysis Study started in October 2010 and is expected to be completed in April 2012 with an identified Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). While the AA is occurring and funding is sought, the Gateway Corridor Commission is building public support for a new east metro transitway. After completion of the AA study, the next steps in developing the transitway include preliminary engineering and environmental documentation, final design and then construction. Depending upon federal and local funding, a new transitway in the Gateway Corridor could be operational by 2022.
In 2009, the Gateway Corridor Commission was created to study and plan alternative transportation options for the area along Interstate 94. The Commission is comprised of local elected officials and community leaders in the Gateway Corridor who are continuously working to bring new transit options to residents and travelers in the area.
- November 23, 2102
- October 12, 2012
Finance and Commerce,
- September 13, 2012
There are high hopes for a planned transitway that would move buses or light rail along the I-94 corridor between St. Paul’s Union Depot and the St. Croix River Bridge, at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.
East Side Review,
- May 14, 2012
- April 28, 2012
New Richmond News,
- March 16, 2012
Moving people efficiently along the Gateway Corridor has been under study by the Gateway Commission in Minnesota since 2009. Wisconsin joined the party in 2010, said Tim Ramberg, St. Croix County highway commissioner.
- March 16, 2012
- March 15, 2012
- March 15, 2012
A proposal for a commuter rail line to run along Interstate 94 from the Twin Cities to Eau Claire, Wis., was swept off the planning map Thursday, but otherwise the Gateway Corridor Commission has miles to travel before deciding specifics for a transit corridor along the busy stretch of freeway.
- February 7, 2012
- January 6, 2012