If you have questions about the massive construction project on Hwy. 169 in the west metro scheduled for (much) later this year, then be sure to attend an open house Feb. 10 at Hopkins High School.
That's the day representatives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation will lay out plans for the year-long construction project that is slated to begin in November and continue through the fall of 2017. The open house will run from 4 to 6 p.m.
This one promises to be a doozy for commuters and comes with a warning from MnDOT that "this work is expected to cause major traffic impacts as a short section of Hwy. 169 will be closed for one year between Bren Road and the exit to 5th Street/Lincoln Drive."
The major piece of the estimated $72 to $87 million project is the closure of the Nine Mile Creek Bridge, which is what is prompting the above warning. On top of that, drivers will encounter lane closures on six miles of Hwy. 169 between the Crosstown and Hwy. 55.
MnDOT tells the Drive that construction on Hwy. 100 and I-494, the two most likely alternate routes, will be wrapped up before the agency get to work on Hwy. 169.
"MnDOT is coordinating with adjacent construction projects to ensure that alternate routes won't be under construction while Hwy. 169 is closed and to avoid conflicts with future highway improvement projects."
While the headaches are 10 months away, now might be the best time to start trying alternate routes.
Here is a summary of what MnDOT will be doing during over the course of a year and a map of the project area below:
- Replacing the bridge over Nine Mile Creek in Hopkins, Minnetonka and Edina.
- Reconstructing more than six miles of pavement between Hwy 55 and just north of Hwy 62.
- Constructing acceleration and deceleration lanes at Cedar Lake Road.
- Possibly removing access to and from southbound Hwy. 169 at 16th Street in St. Louis Park
- Repairing noise walls.
- Replacing concrete barrier.
- Improving pedestrian accessibility