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U.S. Highway 169 (U.S. 169) is a major north–south highway in the U.S. state of Minnesota, connecting the Minnesota River valley with the Twin Cities and the Iron Range. Much of the route is built to expressway or freeway standards.

U.S. Highway 169 marker

U.S. Highway 169
U.S. 169 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length359.523 mi[2] (578.596 km)
Existed1931[1]–present
Major junctions
South end US 169 in Elmore at the Minnesota–Iowa state line
 
North end US 53 in Virginia
Location
CountiesFaribault, Blue Earth, Nicollet, Sibley, Le Sueur, Scott, Hennepin, Anoka, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Itasca, St. Louis
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
MN 156MN 169

Route descriptionEdit

 
First reassurance marker in Minnesota north of the Iowa state line

U.S. 169 enters Minnesota near Elmore as a two-lane, undivided highway, continuing as such through the majority of Blue Earth. Near the northern outskirts of the town, it expands to a four-lane, divided highway, subsequently crossing Interstate Highway 90. Soon after, it reverts back to its original two-lane size. Roughly 5 miles southwest of Mankato, U.S. 169 and State Highway 60 merge to a single expressway through Mankato. In North Mankato, Highway 60 moves from a concurrency with U.S. 169 to another one with U.S. 14.

 
US 169 northbound concurrent with MN 22 and MN 99 in Saint Peter

In Mankato and North Mankato, U.S. 169 functions as an arterial highway, passing directly through the cities' downtown area. From Mankato north to Shakopee, the route remains an expressway, except for the section passing through Saint Peter, where U.S. 169 is the main street through town.

55 miles (89 km) of U.S. 169 from Saint Peter to I-494 in Bloomington is officially designated the John A. Johnson Memorial Highway. This includes the Bloomington Ferry Bridge between Shakopee and Bloomington. This designation is marked as "Johnson Memorial Drive" on some maps, but not marked as such on directional signs, nor commonly known by this name.

In the Twin Cities area, the route is constructed to freeway standards between County Road 69 in Shakopee and State Highway 610 in Brooklyn Park. The freeway between Interstate 494 and Interstate 694 was originally built by Hennepin County as County Road 18. In 1988, County Road 18 was transferred to the state of Minnesota and became the new alignment for Highway 169 in the Minneapolis area. In exchange, Hennepin County took over maintenance of two other highways that were formerly state routes. In the Minneapolis area, U.S. 169 is often congested, but the freeway passes close to residential neighborhoods in many locations, so any expansion of the freeway would disrupt housing stock in the surrounding area.

North of MN 610, 169 remains an expressway until Anoka, where it becomes a street. It then joins U.S. 10 west to Elk River. Those highways diverge at Babcock Wayside on the Mississippi River.

North of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, U.S. 169 continues as an expressway to Mille Lacs Lake, an important resort area. The highway skirts the western shore of the lake. 74 miles (119 km) of U.S. 169 from Elk River to Garrison is officially designated the POW / MIA Memorial Highway. From Mille Lacs Lake, U.S. 169 continues northward to its junction with U.S. 2 at Grand Rapids. Here, 169 turns northeasterly to reach the cities of the Mesabi Iron Range.

At the eastern end of Grand Rapids, U.S. 169 becomes an expressway and remains such for 8 miles. An additional 1.5 miles, from Taconite to Itasca County Road 7; will be complete in 2016. It passes through the cities of Hibbing, Chisholm, and Mountain Iron before reaching U.S. 53 at the city of Virginia. This four-lane stretch of 169 is also known as the Highway 169 Cross Range Expressway. The northern terminus of U.S. 169 is at the city of Virginia.

State Highway 169 begins immediately north of Virginia in Wuori Township; and continues northeast for 49 miles (79 km) to the cities of Tower, Ely, and Winton. State Highway 169 is numbered as an extension of U.S. 169.

U.S. 169 is one of three Minnesota U.S. marked highways to carry the same number as an existing state marked highway within the state. The others being Highways 61 and 65.

Legally, the Minnesota section of U.S. 169 is defined as all or part of Routes 5, 7, 383, 3, 18, and 35 in the Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.117(4).[1],[2] The route is not marked with those numbers.

HistoryEdit

 
Exit numbers started appearing in Shakopee in 2016

U.S. 169 was extended into Minnesota circa 1931.[1] The route in Minnesota was paved by 1940.[1]

U.S. 169, between the junction with State Highway 60 (south of Mankato) and the Twin Cities, was upgraded to at least expressway status over several stages. The freeway section around Mankato and the adjoining expressway sections were completed in the early 1960s, along with bypasses of Le Sueur, Jordan and Belle Plaine.[1]

The U.S. 169 freeway bypass around Shakopee was built in the mid-1990s along a new alignment, which included the newly constructed Bloomington Ferry Bridge. Prior to this realignment, U.S. 169 crossed the Minnesota River from downtown Shakopee where it had been co-signed with State Highway 101. North of the river crossing, U.S. 169 had previously been co-signed with what was then U.S. 212 (Flying Cloud Drive) through Eden Prairie until 1996.

A new U.S. 169 interchange with State Highway 19, near Henderson, was completed in 2002.[1]

An expressway section of Highway 169 through southern Hennepin County was converted to full freeway in 2006, with new interchanges constructed at Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes Parkway. At-grade intersections with traffic signals have been removed at the recently constructed Interstate 494 interchange, which was previously a point of frequent congestion.

North of the Twin Cities, Highway 169 has been upgraded to an expressway between Elk River and the southern end of Mille Lacs Lake, with bypasses of Princeton and Milaca built in the late 1980s.

U.S. 169 between Hill City and Grand Rapids has been built to super-2 standards.

The expressway section between Pengilly and the city of Virginia was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2008, construction began on a new Highway 169 interchange with County Road 81 and 85th Avenue North in Brooklyn Park. This interchange is also known as The Devil's Triangle, or simply as "The Triangle", because of the major traffic congestion during rush hour, especially in the afternoon. Construction was completed on August 11, 2011.

During the flooding of September 2010, flood waters destroyed a 150-foot section of the northbound lanes of Highway 169 between St. Peter and Le Sueur. MnDOT believes, "when the flood waters rose up it found a weak spot in the slope or the dirt bank and got under the grass and started mining under the pavement. Finally, it just sucked all the dirt out and the pavement just dropped into a hole." Traffic was detoured to the southbound lanes of 169 for a month, resulting in a temporary two lane expressway, until the northbound section was repaired.

In November 2010, construction began on a completely redesigned Highway 169 interchange at Interstate 494, where three traffic signals had existed. The new interchange features six roundabouts, new flyover bridges, and two new bridges over I-494 that will carry West 78th Street and Washington Avenue. Major construction began in March 2011. Construction continued in spring 2012 with the completion of reconstructing surrounding roads and remaining ramps. MnDOT completed the entire project in November 2012. The 2010 cost of the construction project was $140 million.[3][4]

In 2016, exit numbers have started appearing on the Shakopee portion of the freeway section in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area.

FutureEdit

A study to convert U.S. 169 to a freeway between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman was completed in late 2009. A complete review of the project by MnDOT will occur in 2011. A complete construction schedule and timeline will then by released by MnDOT. Allocation of funds for the project is currently underway and the only thing holding back from starting the project. The project is expected to cost around $178 Million. In the meantime, the 14 miles between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman will be resurfaced during the 2012 construction season. The construction will begin in May 2012.[5]

Major intersectionsEdit

CountyLocationmi[6]kmExitDestinationsNotes
FaribaultElmore0.0000.000  US 169 south – AlgonaContinuation into Iowa
Blue Earth11.308–
11.365
18.198–
18.290
  I-90 – Fairmont, Albert LeaI-90 exit 119
Winnebago19.59531.535  MN 109 east – Wells
Blue EarthAmboy28.50645.876  MN 30 east – MapletonSouthern end of MN 30 overlap
28.85246.433  MN 30 west – St. JamesNorthern end of MN 30 overlap
South Bend Township47.74676.840  MN 60 west – Lake Crystal, Sioux CitySouthern end of MN 60 overlap
49.426–
49.484
79.543–
79.637
  CSAH 90 eastPartial interchange; entrances and northbound exit; southbound exit via at-grade left turn
50.65881.526  MN 68 west (Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway) – New Ulm, Campground
Mankato52.05783.778Frontage RoadSouthern end of expressway section; northbound exit and southbound entrance
52.94185.200Riverfront DriveFormer MN 66
NicolletNorth Mankato52.91985.165Lookout Drive / Center StreetCenter Street not signed southbound
53.56886.209North Mankato, Mankato, DowntownNorthern end of expressway section
MankatoNorth Mankato line55.65989.574   MN 60 east / US 14 – New Ulm, WasecaInterchange; northern end of MN 60 overlap
St. Peter64.839104.348  MN 99 west – NicolletSouthern end of MN 99 overlap
64.985104.583  MN 22 southSouthern end of MN 99 overlap
65.954106.143  MN 99 east (Broadway Avenue) – Le CenterNorthern end of MN 99 overlap
67.705108.961  MN 22 north – GaylordNorthern end of MN 22 overlap
SibleyHenderson Township76.194122.622   MN 93 south (Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway) / CSAH 8 west (336th Street) – Le SueurInterchange; southern end of MN 93 overlap
77.166124.187  MN 93 north (Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway) – HendersonNorthern end of MN 93 overlap
Le SueurLe Sueur78.383126.145  MN 112 south – Le SueurInterchange
Le SueurScott
county line
TyroneBlakeley
township line
83.821134.897  MN 19 – New Prague, GaylordInterchange
ScottBelle Plaine91.855147.826   MN 25 north (Main Street) / CSAH 64 eastInterchange
Jordan98.201158.039    MN 282 east to MN 21 north / CSAH 9
99.100159.486  MN 21 south – Jordan, New PragueMN 21 only signed southbound
Jackson Township105.963170.531   MN 41 north / CSAH 78 south – Chaska
Shakopee107.252172.605107    
   CSAH 69 / US 169 Bus. north
Western end of freeway section
108.203174.136108  CSAH 15 (Marystown Road)
109.948176.944110  CSAH 17 (Marschall Road)
111.691179.749112  CSAH 83 (Canterbury Road)
113.689–
113.749
182.965–
183.061
113   MN 13 to CSAH 21 – BurnsvilleNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
114.236–
114.307
183.845–
183.959
114  CSAH 21No northbound exit; northbound entrance includes direct entrance ramp from Stagecoach Road
114.636–
115.379
184.489–
185.685
115     
    CSAH 101 / US 169 Bus. south to MN 13 – Savage, Shakopee
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
Minnesota River115.698–
116.128
186.198–
186.890
Bloomington Ferry Bridge; Scott–Hennepin county line
HennepinBloomington116.369187.278117  CSAH 1 east (Old Shakopee Road) / Riverview RoadSouthern end of CSAH 1 overlap
117.121188.488  CSAH 1 west (Pioneer Trail)Northern end of CSAH 1 overlap
118.436190.604Bloomington Ferry Road, Anderson Lakes Parkway
119.969193.071Washington Avenue, Marth RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
120.023193.158   I-494 / MN 5I-494 exits 10A-B
BloomingtonEdina line78th StreetSouthbound exit only
Edina120.971194.684Valley View Road
EdinaEden Prairie line122.189–
122.198
196.644–
196.659
   MN 62 west (Crosstown Highway) to US 212
122.784197.602Londonderry Road, Bren Road
HopkinsEdina line123.789199.2197th Street South
Hopkins124.384200.177  CSAH 3 – Downtown Hopkins
125.289201.633  MN 7 – Minneapolis, Excelsior
St. Louis Park125.653202.21936th StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance only
MinnetonkaSt. Louis Park line126.128202.983  CSAH 5 (Minnetonka Boulevard)
126.706203.914Cedar Lake Road
127.611205.37016th Street
St. Louis ParkGolden Valley line128.022206.031  I-394 – MinneapolisI-394 exit 3
PlymouthGolden Valley line128.417206.667Betty Crocker Drive, Shelard Parkway
128.690207.106  MN 55 – Minneapolis, Buffalo
129.369208.19913th Avenue, Plymouth Avenue
PlymouthGolden Valley
New Hope tripoint
130.371209.812  CSAH 70 (Medicine Lake Road)
PlymouthNew Hope line131.376211.42936th Avenue North
132.158212.688  CSAH 9 (Rockford Road)
132.891213.86749th Avenue North
Maple GroveBrooklyn Park line133.861215.428  CSAH 10 (Bass Lake Road)
134.654216.70563rd Avenue North
135.601218.229    I-94 / I-694 / US 52I-94/694 exits 29A-B
136.398219.511  CSAH 130 (77th Avenue North, Brooklyn Boulevard)
Brooklyn Park139.572224.619   CSAH 81 (Bottineau Boulevard) / CSAH 109 (85th Avenue North)
138.519222.925  CSAH 30 (93rd Avenue North)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
139.028223.744  MN 610Northern end of freeway section
Mississippi River143.339–
143.535
230.682–
230.997
Anoka–Champlin Mississippi River Bridge
AnokaAnoka144.400232.389   US 10 east / MN 47Southern end of US 10 overlap; southern end of freeway section
144.923233.231Main Street, Greenhaven RoadNorthern end of freeway section
Ramsey  CSAH 83 (Armstrong Boulevard NW)Interchange
SherburneElk River155.703250.580   US 10 west / MN 101 south – Elk River, RogersNorthern end of US 10 overlap
159.349256.447  CSAH 33Interchange
Baldwin Township170.726274.757  CSAH 9Interchange
Princeton174.343280.578  CSAH 29 north (Rum River Drive)Interchange
Mille Lacs176.205283.574  MN 95 – St. Cloud, PrincetonInterchange
177.423285.535  CSAH 29 south (Rum River Drive)Interchange
Milaca189.035304.222  MN 23 – MilacaInterchange
Onamia211.156339.823  MN 27 west – PierzSouthern end of MN 27 overlap
Cove213.745343.989  MN 27 east – Wahkon, IsleNorthern end of MN 27 overlap
Crow WingGarrison231.395372.394  MN 18 west – Deerwood, BrainerdSouthern end of MN 18 overlap
AitkinHazelton Township236.536380.668  MN 18 east – MalmoNorthern end of MN 18 overlap
Aitkin249.648401.770  MN 47 south
250.159402.592  MN 210 west – Crosby, BrainerdSouthern end of MN 210 overlap
Hassman258.066415.317  MN 210 east – McGregor, DuluthNorthern end of MN 210 overlap
Hill City284.599458.018  MN 200 – Remer, Jacobson
ItascaGrand Rapids302.803487.314  US 2 west (NW 4th Street) – BemidjiSouthern end of US 2 overlap
303.234488.008  US 2 east – DuluthNorthern end of US 2 overlap
Pengilly321.160516.857  MN 65 southSouthern end of MN 65 overlap
Nashwauk323.814521.128  MN 65 north – LittleforkNorthern end of MN 65 overlap
St. LouisHibbing334.057537.613  MN 73 south – Floodwood
335.055539.219   
  1st Avenue (US 169 Bus.)
335.763540.358  MN 37 east (40th Street) – Eveleth
337.698543.472   
  Howard Street (US 169 Bus.)
Chisholm342.391551.025  MN 73 north – ChisholmInterchange; northern end of MN 73 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Mountain Iron356.922574.410  CR 102Interchange
Virginia359.462578.498  US 53 – Duluth, International FallsInterchange; national northern end of US 169
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c d e Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 152–218". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Self-published. Retrieved November 21, 2010.[self-published source]
  2. ^ "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing — Construction District 1" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. August 14, 2014.
  3. ^ http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/cityhall/dept/pubworks/engineer/streets/curr_proj/th169/th169.htm
  4. ^ http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/169/
  5. ^ http://projects.dot.state.mn.us/srf/169elkriver/index.html
  6. ^ Minnesota Department of Transportation. "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Transportation. pp. 93, 203–226. Retrieved October 22, 2015.


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