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Highway 217 corridor study

Planning and conservation    Transportation and land use projects    Transportation studies    Highway 217 corridor study

Metro and regional partners completed a two-year study to improve travel in the Highway 217 corridor. Read about the study findings and committee recommendations.


Further study of options selected in the Highway 217 transportation improvement process are on hold pending funding for an environmental impact study.


After two years of study and review, the Highway 217 policy advisory committee made a final recommendation in November, 2005 of improvement options to move forward for further study. All of the options studied in the second phase included improvements to interchanges, arterials, transit, and bike and pedestrian routes in the corridor. The options considered were:

  • option A: a new general-purpose (free, unrestricted) lane in each direction on Highway 217
  • option B: a new express toll lane in each direction Highway 217 in addition to existing general-purpose lanes
  • option C: a new lane in each direction on Highway 217 and a new tolled ramp meter bypass lane on highway entrances

The Highway 217 policy advisory committee selected options A and B in their final recommendation to move forward to an environmental impact study.

The second phase focused on financing and phasing opportunities for each option because of the limited available funds and expense of construction. The Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation reviewed and amended the PAC recommendation on Feb. 9, 2006. The Metro Council approved the amended Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation recommendation on Feb. 23, 2006, selecting two alternatives to study in a formal environmental impact statement that would precede any construction in the corridor.

Study background

The study's first phase, conducted between September 2003 and December 2004, considered six options ranging from arterial improvements to interchange improvements and widening the highway. In November 2004, after reviewing technical analysis and public input, the Policy Advisory Committee selected three options to advance to the second phase.

The Highway 217 corridor was selected for study during a comprehensive evaluation of corridors throughout the region. Highway 217 is a high priority because it is the major north-south route connecting major growth areas in Washington County. Traffic in the corridor has increased by 100 percent in the past 20 years.

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