The inevitable has arrived for drivers in the north metro who use Hwy. 169 through Champlin and Brooklyn Park.
Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, the highway will be reduced to a single lane between the Mississippi River and Hwy. 610, and things will stay that way through September. That will make things tougher for commuters north of the Mississippi River as Hwy. 169 is one of the few routes with a bridge over river.
The ramp from westbound Hwy 610 to northbound Hwy 169 also will close around 6 a.m. Monday.
MnDOT pushed off the start of the project for the past few weeks due to the cold and snowy April, which caused frost to stay in the ground longer than anticipated.
Over the next four to five months, MnDOT will be replacing bridge decks over Elm Creek. The bridge decks were so deteriorated that in 2015 MnDOT banned single-axle trucks weighing more than 16 tons and semi-trailer truck and trailer-truck combinations weighing more than 26 tons from crossing for eight months while the agency did emergency repairs.
Now MnDOT is going back to make a permanent fix by replacing the structures that were originally built in 1956.
In addition to rebuilding the northbound and southbound bridges, MnDOT next spring will extend all turn lanes from northbound Hwy. 169 to westbound streets, add an acceleration lane on southbound Hwy. 169 at 120th Avenue N. and upgrade intersections to comply with the Americans with Disabilities.
MnDOT also will realign Hwy. 169 between the Mississippi River and East Hayden Lake Road during the 2018 construction season.