Residents who live along a stretch of Hwy. 169 in the west metro are apparently ready for the reconstruction project that will close part of that highway for a full year, beginning in 2016.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation held an open house in Hopkins Wednesday evening to talk over the details with neighbors who will be most affected by the biggest aspect of the reconstruction – the replacement of the Hwy. 169 bridge over Nine Mile Creek, which runs through Hopkins, Minnetonka and Edina.
While the bridge is being rebuilt, that section of the highway will be closed altogether, for about a year. It's a major north-south commuting route in the west metro, and the closure will likely cause major traffic headaches.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal describes it as "the nightmare down the road."
But some Hopkins residents told KARE 11 they're ready for the inconvenience. After all, they said, they're already dealing with major reconstruction of their city's Main Street, and businesses are surviving.
"The attitude here is, bring it on," Lauren Bear, president of the Hopkins Business and Civic Association, said to KARE 11. "We have a good, loyal community and people are willing to go the extra mile to come to our businesses."
The entire project involves reconstructing a six-mile stretch of Hwy. 169 between Hwy. 55 to the north and Hwy. 62 to the south. MnDOT estimates the cost will range from $72 million to $87 million (You can see a larger map of the entire project here).
MnDOT said closing both sides of the highway and finishing the project in one year will actually be better in the long run. Otherwise it would disrupt traffic for three years.
People who live in the area have some time to prepare, though; the work is scheduled to begin the fall of 2016.
As the Business Journal notes, the west metro area has had more than its share of traffic headaches this year, with major construction being done on I-394, I-494 and Highway 100.