Commuting is about to get more difficult in the southwest metro as a section of Hwy. 169 closes Sunday evening and will be shut down until July.

MnDOT will close the southbound lanes of Hwy. 169 between Crosstown Hwy. 62 and Valley View Road in Edina to resurface the road, improve drainage systems, install guard rails and put a new deck on the overpass spanning the Crosstown.

Southbound Hwy. 169 traffic will be diverted onto westbound Hwy. 212 to I-494 during the nine-week closure.

While northbound lanes will remain open, drivers should not get too giddy. Their turn to deal with construction between I-494 and Bren Road will come in early July, said Nick Carpenter, a MnDOT spokesman.

To complicate matters, construction will expand north of the Crosstown to near Bren Road sometime mid-summer, Carpenter said.

At that time motorists will experience closures between I-394 and Crosstown that will extend into the early fall. MnDOT will work on one side of the highway, then the other to help with traffic flow, Carpenter said.

"This is a big one," Carpenter said. "That detour will be difficult."

That detour will direct northbound motorists onto I-494, west and north to I-394 or east to Hwy. 100, then north to westbound I-394. Southbound drivers will follow the reverse.

The $10.8 million project also will bring three weekend closures of the Crosstown at Hwy. 169 between May and September when old bridge decks over the Crosstown and Hwy. 212 are removed.

As the closures kick in, Carpenter advised motorists to allow extra time and plan on some delays.

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