Summer construction will close Highway 169 bridge

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to close the southbound Highway 169 bridge over Highway 10 in Elk River for up to a month this summer to complete some repairs.
MnDOT plans to replace the bridge railings and pour a new concrete overlay on the bridge deck, according to Elk River City Engineer Justin Femrite.
During the project, traffic will be diverted onto the northbound bridge, with one lane for northbound traffic and one for southbound.
In addition, three turning movements will be limited and traffic diverted onto detours in Elk River.
The three turning movements are:
•Southbound Highway 169 traffic seeking to go east on Highway 10 will be detoured east on Main Street and south on Twin Lakes Road and 171st Avenue to hook up with Highway 10.
•Westbound Highway 10 traffic seeking to go south on Highway 101 will be detoured west on Highway 10 to Main Street, then across the Parrish Avenue Bridge and into Otsego to connect to Highway 101.
•Eastbound Highway 10 traffic seeking to go north on Highway 169 will be detoured east on Main Street to the Main-169 intersection, where vehicles can turn left onto northbound 169.
The Elk River City Council voted 5-0 March 21 to approve a detour agreement with MnDOT and pass a resolution related to the project. As determined by a formula, MnDOT will pay the city an estimated $965 for use of the detour routes. The actual amount will be based on traffic counts taken during the detour.
Meanwhile, Femrite said the city staff has concerns and anticipates large traffic problems for the duration of the project. He has met with MnDOT, relayed the city’s concerns and said MnDOT has addressed them to the best of its ability.
MnDOT models show traffic on Highway 169 north of the bridge backed up for over a mile during morning rush hour, Femrite said.
The city anticipates that Elk River police officers will be needed to help with traffic control during the project.
MnDOT will build police time into the construction contract.
“So we’re not going to eat it?” Council Member Nick Zerwas asked.
“No,” Femrite replied.
The work is tentatively set to happen during four weeks in June. Femrite said MnDOT hopes to complete the work in 18-20 days but is reserving four weeks for the project.
A lot of the time needed is due to the curing of the materials, he said.

This map shows the Highway 169 bridge work traffic detour routes.

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