In the coming weeks, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will get back to work on replacing the crumbling bridges spanning Elm Creek on Hwy. 169 in Champlin and start up a repaving project on a portion of the highway that runs through Brooklyn Park.

And when when the work starts, traffic headaches are likely to follow.

Sorry drivers, but that's the reality with this construction project that will have the highway reduced to a single lane in each direction between the Mississippi River and Hwy. 610 for much of the 2018 construction season.

Officials will spell it all out in during an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Champlin Ice Forum. A formal presentation will be offered at 5:15 p.m. followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask MnDOT officials questions.

For those who can't make it, here is the "Reader's Digest" version of what will be going on behind all those orange signs and barricades.


On the north end, MnDOT is realigning Hwy. 169 between East Hayden Lake Road and the Mississippi River. The idea is to straighten out the road so it's not as curvy as it is now.  While crews are at it, they also will replace both bridges spanning Elm Creek. They date to 1956 and were in such disrepair three years ago that MnDOT had to do emergency repairs just to keep them in service. This year new bridges will be built.

On the south end, MnDOT will repair concrete and repave Hwy. 169 between East Hayden Lake Road and Hwy. 610. In addition, MnDOT  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.

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