Highway 169 construction to continue

Bus routes not directly affected by closures

Hannah Leff
A sign directing drivers to a detour as a result of construction of Highway 169. Bus routes will not be affected by the construction.


Starting in early 2017, the state of Minnesota began construction on Highway 169 in an attempt to repair damaged lanes and ramps.

According David Aeikens, head of communications and engagement for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the construction on Highway 169 covers approximately six miles.

“The entire project runs from Minnesota Highway 62, just south of the bridge, all the way up to Minnesota Highway 55,” Aeikens said. “We’re going to be doing some pavement, bridge (and) ramp repair, expanding the merge lane on Cedar Lake Road (and) closing the 16th Street southbound on and off ramps because there are some safety issues.”

Senior Simon Lewin said although construction can be inconvenient for some, Highway 169 needs plenty of road work.

“Highway 169 is in desperate need of construction,” Lewin said. “(The highway) is in shambles in parts. There’s so many exits and entrances where you drive on it and feel like you’re going over a million rocks (and) it’s just so bumpy (with) so many random holes.”

According to Levi Lehman, head of dispatch and routing for the St. Louis Park Transportation Department, construction affects bus routes minimally.

“Most of the exits in St. Louis Park that our buses would need to use are still open,” Lehman said. “There are a few students on the other side of 169 that get bused into St. Louis Park, but for the vast majority, it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue at all.”

Aeikens said the reconstruction of the Nine Mile Creek bridge makes up the majority of the construction project.

“There are a lot of things going on, but the big thing is the replacement of the Nine Mile Creek bridge with the causeway,” Aeikens said. “That will take about ten months.”

According to Lewin, construction mostly affects people who use larger portions of the highway for traveling.

“It’s been really rough on people that have to commute from further away into the city or have to go further south,” Lewin said.

Manager of St. Louis Park Transportation Ann Casey said the construction planning committee informed the bus department about the construction months before it began.

“We received quite a bit of forewarning and were able to do some rerouting prior to the closure,” Casey said. “(Prior knowledge) prepared our drivers very well for the new routes they would have to take.”

Aeikens said the Minnesota Department of Transportation predicts the construction project will be finished by next fall.

“We should be all done by the end of October with the entire project,” Aeikens said. “We appreciate people’s patience and understanding with this project.”