Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 13, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

Expect detour on Hwy 169 Mankato to St. Peter April 18

Patience and attentiveness required on all routes

MANKATO, Minn. – Motorists on Highway 169 between Mankato and St. Peter can expect the highway to be closed and a detour to be in place after 7 PM on Monday, April 18 (weather permitting). 

The detour, which will be in place until October, uses Highway 14, Nicollet County Road 13 and Highway 99.  Motorists are asked to reduce speeds and drive with added caution on the two-lane roadways.  Extra law enforcement will be in place.

A current detour map can be found at www.mndot.gov/fix169flood as well as videos explaining the project and detour and an opportunity to sign up for e-mail updates throughout the project.

MnDOT officials are well aware that many motorists will try to use Highway 22.  However, traffic on Highway 22 is already near capacity with about 9,000 vehicles each day, very heavy truck traffic and many local access roads with high traffic.  County Road 13 currently only carries 900 vehicles each day and access restrictions at Nicollet County Road 6 and a temporary signal at Howard Drive will be installed to improve the flow of traffic on the detour route.   

MnDOT staff will be monitoring the detour route, Highway 22 and key intersections.  Highway 22 has also been improved with added left turn lanes and restrictions at Township Road 140 and Augusta Drive.

“It takes up to two weeks for traffic patterns to normalize,” explains Traffic Engineer Scott Thompson.  Thompson and his staff will be ready to make changes if necessary including restricting access and/or increasing traffic control.

It is too early to predict travel times on the two routes, but of the 14,000 vehicles traveling on Highway 169 each day, MnDOT is estimating that 40-60 percent will use the detour, 20-40 percent will be added to Highway 22 and another 20 percent will find other routes.

Speaking of other routes, if motorists are planning a trip to the Twin Cities, they may want to consider Highway 14 or 60 to the east and f Interstate 35.  With increased speed limits on four lanes instead of two, the added travel time, if any, is just minutes.

The project includes raising the grade in four flood-prone areas (Hiniker Mill, 7-mile Creek, Old River Road, and State Hospital) to raise the road above the 100 year flood, six miles of resurfacing for a smoother road and a median barrier to prevent head-on crashes.  The $30 million project received a $9.8 million grant from the EDA (Economic Development Administration).

For statewide travel information, visit www.511mn.org.

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To learn more about funding Minnesota’s transportation system, visit Get Connected at www.dot.state.mn.us/getconnected.