ST. PAUL — Freeway congestion in the metro ticked up slightly last year, according to a new report.
The percent of congested freeway miles was 24.2% last year — up from 23.2% in 2017, according to the 2018 Metropolitan Freeway System Congestion Report released Monday. That’s the highest percentage of congestion in the last 10 years.
The analysis by the Minnesota Department of Transportation tracked the percentage of miles that operate at speeds below 45 mph for any length of time during peak periods in the morning and afternoon.
The rise in freeway congestion accompanies a rise in population from 3.08 million people in 2017 to 3.11 million people in 2018, a preliminary estimate from the Metropolitan Council shows.
Other factors such as economic state, public transportation ridership, and road construction can affect congestion as well.
Currently, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is working on five main construction projects targeting congestion hot spots.
The report also revealed that between 5 and 10 a.m., I-35W is the most congested freeway, although it has improved from 2017. Between 2 and 7 p.m., I-494 is the most congested freeway and has worsened since 2017.