Yes, we've heard this before, but this time the Minnesota Department of Transportation seems fairly certain that the Nine Mile Creek bridge on Hwy. 169 will close Monday.
And bright and early, too. Officially lanes across the bridge between Bren Road and Lincoln Drive in Edina will shut down at 2 a.m. Crews will start setting up barricades and cones around 8 p.m. Sunday night, so watch for traffic impacts as the highway is reduced to a single lane in the area leading to the bridge.
The bridge will be replaced with a causeway and will take nine months to build.
"Rush hour folks will see the full closure," said spokesman David Aeikens. The only way they would not is if something unforseen pops up over the weekend. "Hopefully they have their routes planned."
What is more likely to catch drivers off guard is that the ramp from westbound I-394 to southbound Hwy. 169 also will close Monday. Additionally, southbound Hwy. 169 will see a new lane configuration from Hwy. 55 down to I-394. All traffic in the right lane of southbound Hwy. 169 will be diverted onto westbound I-394, while through traffic will be shifted to the left lane. Barricades will prevent last-second lane switches.
The idea is to limit the number of southbound motorists using the portion of Hwy. 169 between I-394 and 5th Street/Lincoln Drive and steer them onto I-394 and I-494, Aeikens said.
This is the third time MnDOT has announced the bridge closing. The first scheduled for Jan. 10 was pushed back a week due to cold and snowy weather. Last week MnDOT delayed the closure because utility wires under the bridge had not been removed. They are still there, but MnDOT can work around them, Aeikens said.
The agency needs to get started on the project so it can get it done before the end of the construction season in October. MnDOT has sent postcards to about 200 residents who live nearby alerting them that work may take place anytime between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. So it might be loud for the next month as the current bridge comes down.