Truck drivers probably remember all too well when in 2015 the Minnesota Department of Transportation banned them from using bridges over Elm Creek near Hayden Lake Road on Hwy. 169 in Champlin.

The bridge decks were so deteriorated that 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.

The bridges won't be replaced until 2018, but prep work will begin Tuesday. So drivers can expect to encounter lane reductions between East Hayden Lake Road and Hwy. 610 on weekdays, although MnDOT spokesman Kent Barnard says lane restrictions won't be in place during rush hours.

At other times, however, there could be some delays as crews put in crossovers that will carry traffic next spring when the bridge replacement project gets underway. They also will install temporary traffic signals at the intersections of Hwy. 169 and 109th, 114th and 120th avenues N. (Note: The signals will not be activated until the spring of 2018.)

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.

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