Traveling on Highway 169 from Mankato to the Twin Cities boasts one of the roughest parts of the drive.

But a road project in 2018 looks to change that.

A car gets a workout as it travels north on Highway 169 between St. Peter and Le Sueur.

MnDOT Assistant District Engineer Chad Fowlds said, "The northbound lanes of Highway 169 are in poor condition. That's pretty evident to see when you drive it. It's a lot of potholes, rough ride."

Next spring, construction is scheduled to begin on the nearly ten mile stretch of the northbound lanes.

Starting on the north end of St. Peter at the junction with Highway 22 and just past the Highway 93 interchange by Le Sueur.

Fowlds said, "A major concrete overlay."

The estimated $22 million project will include a bridge replacement north of St. Peter and numerous safety improvements, but unlike past work on this road, the main focus isn't preparing for rising waters.

Fowlds said, "There's no consideration for flood mitigation with this project. It's primarily putting a long-term pavement surface on."

In cases of flooding, traffic will be reduced to one-way each direction on the southbound lanes, which was the focus of construction in 2014.

That's the plan of MnDOT right now, reducing the traffic to one lane on 169 South as construction gets underway.

But don't expect this drive on the corridor to be the only place with orange cones.

Fowlds said, "Our metro district is going to be working on 169 with a similar project next summer also, so that whole corridor is going to be active."

Construction is expected to start in late April and wrap up in September 2018.


--KEYC News 12