MnDOT: Shutdown would end MnPASS access to HOV lanes

  • Updated: June 28, 2011 - 7:20 PM

State and local agencies continued to prepare for a possible state government shutdown, with effects that could touch many facets of everyday life.

HOV LANES

Solo motorists would no longer be able to pay for the privilege of using carpool lanes during rush hours on Interstates 394 and 35W.

From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. the lanes would be open only to vehicles with more than one person, motorcyclists and buses, said Christine Krueger, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Solo drivers, even those with transponders, are out of luck during those rush-hour time slots and should expect to see State Patrol enforcement, she said. Single-person vehicles can use the lanes at other times, Krueger said.

Also, if a shutdown occurs, the carpool lanes on I-394 would be westbound only, MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said.

HENNEPIN COUNTY

• Service centers, where people go for driver's licenses, car tabs and other documents, would not reopen Tuesday after the July 4th weekend.

• Road and bridge projects, including work on the Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, would continue at least through July.

• 500 employees in the Human Services and Public Health Department and about 127 employees in the Taxpayer Services Department would be laid off.

• Child protective services would continue, as would services to people with serious and persistent mental illness or who are in chemical dependency treatment.

• Unresolved is the fate of child care assistance for 6,300 families, which is funded entirely by the state. As of Tuesday, the county had refused to take on the bills for that aid, which is about $5 million a month.

CANTERBURY PARK

Canterbury Park will run two stakes races Thursday night that had been scheduled for the weekend and July 4th. The Minnesota Racing Commission, the regulatory body that oversees gaming at the state's two racetracks, would close at midnight July 1 if the state does shut down. With no regulatory body in place, Canterbury would not be allowed to conduct business as usual. The park has more than 1,000 employees.

Paul Walsh and Anthony Lonetree

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