For a third time this month, commuters who use the reversible segment of the I-394 HOT lane were forced into the general traffic lanes when gate arms at the Hwy. 100 entrance didn't go up.
MnDOT said the problem was correced just before 10 a.m. when the gates went up, but that was too late for drivers who got caught in a squeeze during the morning rush hour.
Gates guiding westbound traffic have worked and no problems are expected for the evening commute.
From about 7 to 9 a.m., a bottleneck developed as carpoolers and buses merged into the two eastbound lanes. Traffic stacked up to near Hwy. 169 leading to a 20-minute drive to downtown Minneapolis during the peak of the rush.
Friday's failure was related to electrical problem that caused the gates to be stuck in the down position on Jan. 3. On Monday this week a hydraulic failure was the culprit.
On all three occasions, drivers from both directions Hwy. 100 were able access the MnPass pay-to-drive lanes.