Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

ABC Ramps



  • Trunk Highway 12 is added to the Twin Cities Federal Aid Interstate System.


  • Minneapolis Planning Commission examines a distributor road between the Hawthorne Interchange and Washington Avenue to better connect Highway 12 to downtown streets.
  • MPC recommends parking to directly connect to inbound traffic.


  • MPC commissions “Metro Center 85” plan, which endorses fringe parking facilities to mitigate traffic congestion and maintain walkability in the urban core.
  • A site plan shows the location of the three ramps, then called the Third Avenue Distributor Parking Garages, in their current location.


  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency releases a compliance plan to achieve carbon monoxide ambient air quality standard.
  • The plan calls for the development of 7,000 off-street parking spaces served by micro-transit and skyway connections to bring travelers to the central business district.


  • Minnesota Highway Department approves garage location.
  • Federal Highway Administration approves building garages as part of the I-394 system.


  • Conflict from community advisory panels and community pushback over the I-394 construction stalls the project.
  • Concerns are raised of revenue losses from expansion of the right of way and the effect of noise from the highway.
  • Metropolitan Freeway Moratorium Coalition forms with support from the Sierra Club. As the oil embargo of 1973 continues to unfold, the downsides of completely car-dependent transportation landscape become more apparent to the public eye.


  • Minnesota state legislature halts funding for planning and construction efforts. By 1976, the legislature agrees to resume funding on the condition that no more than six through lanes be built.


  • Construction on I-394 and Third Avenue Distributor begins with the High Occupancy Vehicle or carpool lanes and incentives for HOV travel.
  • The Transportation System Management Plan for Interstate 394 outlines the design and operation of a diverse travel corridor.


  • FHWA provides MnDOT with the Maintenance and Operation Plan for the I-394 Third Avenue Distributor Garage A, Garage B and Garage C.
  • The State of Minnesota signs agreement with the city of Minneapolis to manage the Third Avenue Distributor Garages.
  • The original 20-year term starts July 29, 1989, and ends June 30, 2009, with three 10-year renewal options.


  • Third Avenue Distributor, or TAD, garages are completed.
  • Metro Transit (then called MTC) operates bus layover and passenger waiting areas in Ramps A and B.
  • Carpool and vanpool parking discounts offer reduced price monthly carpool contracts for commuters coming from the west on I-394 and westbound I-94.


  • Area private parking operators file complaint with the FHWA that SOV vehicles are taking advantage of the discounted rate.
  • Employee monitors are placed at all ramp entrances during peak commute times to ensure vehicles entering the ramps have at least two people or pay the daily rate.
  • Despite further discounts and extra incentives, the extra layer of verification lead carpool contracts to drop by half.


  • The ramps are branded as the ABC Ramps.


  • Construction for the Twins baseball stadium begins.
  • Event revenue at the ramps increases from 10 percent to over 30 percent.


  • All six bus lobbies are used for the first time.
  • All the ramps fill for the first time during Twins weekday daytime games.
  • $17 million ramp improvements include street level entrances, skyway connecting Ramp B to Target Field, enhanced signage to help game-day visitors, bicyclists showers and bicycle lockers


  • Monthly carpool contracts continue to decline due to changes in travel behavior and demographics.
  • MnDOT and City of Minneapolis look at ways to develop new programs to reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle travel.


  • Electric vehicle charging stations are added to Ramps A and B.


  • A lighting retrofit project includes switching to energy-efficient LED lighting.
  • New security measures result in a 64 percent reduction in reported incidences.


  • The University of Minnesota studies travel behaviors of ramp users, who said they want flexibility in their travel options.
  • The solar garden opens on the top of Ramp A, generating solar energy to subscribers.
  • A new carpool parking rate structure includes lifting a geographic restriction and allowing people to take advantage of reduced parking rates regardless of where they live outside the downtown core.
  • Mobility Hub added to ABC Ramps’ name, reflecting the transportation options available at the ramps.