There’s good news for motorists in Edina, Minnetonka, Hopkins and other parts of the west metro: The Minnesota Department of Transportation reopened Hwy. 169 earlier than planned.

The highway reopened at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Drivers will find the lanes smooth and resurfaced, with a new causeway over marshland at road level, said MnDOT spokesman Dave Aeikens

The highway has been closed in both directions from the Bren Road ramp to Lincoln Drive since January to tear down an old bridge and replace it with a new 3,000-foot causeway that uses fill rather than bridge piers, Aeikens said.

Other parts of the highway were down to one lane in each direction for resurfacing.

The reopening also will ease traffic on Hwy. 100 and Interstate 494, which were used as detours.

Last week, MnDOT announced that 169 would reopen Wednesday morning. But workers were able to get a lot done this past weekend and, barring more rain, will put the finishing touches on the highway Monday night, Aeikens said.

Pat Pheifer