Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- Spring flooding caused roads to close Saturday and headaches for those trying to get around south of the metro.
Traffic was bumper to bumper on Highway 169 south, and it caught many people off guard who were not prepared to spend their afternoon and evening waiting in traffic.
From where Highway 169 meets Interstate 494, it was a sea of tail lights. Traffic was even backed up on the on-ramps.
Maggie Swift expected her trip to take a little longer than usual, but she didn’t think it would take as long as it did.
“I was in the line procession of cars for about an hour and then my car overheated; and I actually never got to my destination,” Swift said. “I had to have my husband come pick me up; and to get to me it took him another hour. So we were in the car for two hours waiting.”
MnDOT spokesperson Kent Barnard said the closing Highway 101 and Highway 41 because of flooding detoured traffic to Highway 169, which caused the backup.
In a proactive step to help ease congestion between Shakopee and I-494, MnDOT is restriping both directions of the highway to add one lane between County Road 18 in Shakopee and Pioneer Trail in Bloomington.
MnDOT hopes that extra lane of traffic on both sides of Highway 169 will allow traffic to move along a little smoother than it did Saturday.
MnDOT said Highway 169 would be returned to its existing condition once the river crossings at Highway 101 and Highway 41 are reopened.