Traffic gridlock from Highway 169 construction spills onto Brooklyn Park roads
Commuters headed out of the northwest suburbs can expect commute times to triple or quadruple this summer due to Highway 169 construction. Drivers are clogging up alternate routes through Brooklyn Park, especially on 85th Avenue near Highway 252.
Keona Tranby can watch the traffic backing up every work day evening along 85th Avenue in Brooklyn Park. She works at the corporate offices of Pilgrim Dry Cleaners. “It’s the light where people get stuck,” explains Tranby, who commutes from Brooklyn Park to Coon Rapids. “It’s six or seven times the light turns and people are still sitting there.”
Tranby’s commute usually takes her 10 to 15 minutes, but since summer construction began it takes her that long to drive a mile east to Highway 252. “People just look annoyed,” says Tranby. “They are on their phones, which they shouldn’t be, and doing other things because they are so bored.”
Gridlock from Highway 169 construction not good for business
The delays aren’t good for business either. At Pilgrim Cleaners, delays are causing overtime expenses. Dozens of trucks come to the Brooklyn Park location to pick up clean clothes for delivery to other stories in the North. Even if delivery trucks try to avoid construction area, trucks sit in traffic around Highway 252 trying to cross the Mississippi River. “Even our owner has been on the phone with our general manager trying to find alternate routes for them to take,” says Tranby. “Once they get here, there’s not much they can avoid.”
Commuters will not get relief from road construction on Highway 169 until possibly mid-September. Between May 7 and mid-July, all traffic on Highway 169 will be shifted to a single lane in each direction between Highway 610 and the Mississippi River. Construction will begin on Northbound Elm Creek Bridge and northbound Highway 169 after the southbound project wraps up.
You can follow this project’s progress, on the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s website.