The Minnesota Department of Transportation will take out a series of lines stripped across a traffic lane on Interstate 35E in the northeast metro suburb of Hugo because drivers feel they create too much road noise.

MnDOT has been using a 1,000-foot section of the right lane on northbound I-35E a few miles north of Frenchman Road as a laboratory. The agency was trying to find out what type of paint and tape best adheres to the concrete and won’t wear off too quickly.

The agency also wanted to test various pigments that would make lines easier for drivers to see at night, or when it rains or roads are covered with snow or ice.

But motorists said the test markings were too loud, so MnDOT will take them off.

“They are not as loud as a rumble strip, but they did generate complaints,” said MnDOT spokesman Kent Barnard.

Crews will close the right lane for three days next week to grind off the lines and create a smoother surface, he said.

MnDOT uses test results to select the right paint for things ranging from centerlines to crosswalks and temporary driving lanes through construction zones.

MnDOT has at least two other test areas on metro highways, on Hwy. 610 near the Hwy. 10 split in Coon Rapids and on Hwy. 36 in Oak Park Heights.

Coon Rapids overpass opens

Drivers and emergency vehicles rushing to calls on Hanson Boulevard in Coon Rapids won’t have to wait for trains anymore.

A new overpass carrying motorists over railroad tracks near NW. 108th Avenue opened Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The $25 million bridge was the result of a partnership among the city, Anoka County, the Counties Transit Improvement Board and BNSF Railway. Funding also was included in the 2017 bonding bill.

“The project improves public safety response times and removes this former at-grade crossing deemed one of the busiest in the state,” according to a statement from city officials.

Transit info now on Lyft app

Lyft rolled out an expanded app Tuesday in the Twin Cities that allows users to get step-by-step directions to their destinations using public transportation, scooters, shared bikes, walking and, of course, ride-sharing.

The metro area is one of the first markets in the nation to get the tool, said Caroline Samponaro, head of transit and micromobility policy for San Francisco-based Lyft. The ride-sharing giant operates the Nice Ride bikes and has scooters deployed in Minneapolis.

Users of the app can compare the cost and time it will take to reach a destination by checking real-time transit schedules on more than 180 bus and train routes operated by Metro Transit, Maple Grove Transit, SouthWest Transit, Plymouth Metrolink and University of Minnesota campus shuttles.

Lyft hopes to incorporate Minnesota Valley Transit Authority schedules in the coming months, said spokeswoman May Xiong.

The app also will allow users to check locations of bikes and scooters, filling in gaps that transit does not reach, Samponaro said.

“It’s one-stop shopping,” she said. “It makes for an easier connection to transit and easier to find what option is best for you.”

In addition to the Twin Cities, Lyft is debuting the app in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. 

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