MINNEAPOLIS - The Lowry Tunnel construction is driving some drivers crazy this summer.

Six lanes of east-west traffic through two tunnels have been squeezed into a single tunnel with two skinny lanes flowing each way. To further complicate matters, semis sometimes sneak in despite signs warning the big rigs to stay out.

It's this commuting headache prompting viewer Stephanie Larsen to submit this question to the KARE 11 Verify team: "Can you change lanes in the Lowry Tunnel even though there's a solid line (not dashed lines) between the lanes?"

Our VERIFY team turned to Lt. Tiffani Nielson, spokeswoman for the Minnesota State Patrol. She said that's actually a very common question and directed us to Page 63 of the Minnesota Driver's Manual.

Pavement markings section of the Minnesota Driver's Manual.

It says single solid white lines, like those used to separate lanes in the Lowry Tunnel, mean that lane changes are "discouraged." But they are not illegal, provided the coast is clear.

We can VERIFY it is legal to change lanes in the Lowry Tunnel.

Solid double-white lines, however, are a different matter. Crossing those could get you fined.


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