U.S. Route 169 in Minnesota

Route map:
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U.S. Highway 169 marker

U.S. Highway 169

U.S. 169 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length359.523 mi[1] (578.596 km)
Great River Road
Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway
Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway
Major junctions
South end US 169 in Elmore at the Minnesota–Iowa state line
Major intersections
North end US 53 in Virginia
CountryUnited States
CountiesFaribault, Blue Earth, Nicollet, Sibley, Le Sueur, Scott, Hennepin, Anoka, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Itasca, St. Louis
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highway System
MN 165 MN 169

U.S. Highway 169 (U.S. 169) is a major north–south highway in the U.S. state of Minnesota, connecting the Minnesota River valley with the Twin Cities and the Iron Range. Much of the route is built to expressway or freeway standards.

Route description[edit]

First reassurance marker in Minnesota north of the Iowa state line
US 169 northbound concurrent with MN 22 and MN 99 in St. Peter
US 169 in Minnetonka, looking north

U.S. 169 enters Minnesota near Elmore as a two-lane, undivided highway, continuing as such through the majority of Blue Earth. Near the northern outskirts of the town, it expands to a four-lane, divided highway, subsequently crossing Interstate Highway 90. Soon after, it reverts to its original two-lane size. Roughly 5 miles southwest of Mankato, U.S. 169 and State Highway 60 merge to a single expressway through Mankato. In North Mankato, Highway 60 moves from a concurrency with U.S. 169 to another one with U.S. 14.

In Mankato and North Mankato, U.S. 169 functions as an arterial highway, passing directly through the cities' downtown area. From Mankato north to Jackson Township, the route remains an expressway, except for the section passing through St. Peter, where U.S. 169 is the main street through town.

55 miles (89 km) of U.S. 169 from St. Peter to I-494 in Bloomington is officially designated the John A. Johnson Memorial Highway. This includes the Bloomington Ferry Bridge between Shakopee and Bloomington. This designation is marked as "Johnson Memorial Drive" on some maps, but not marked as such on directional signs, nor commonly known by this name.

In the Twin Cities area, the route is constructed to freeway standards between State Highway 41 in Jackson Township and 109th Avenue North in Brooklyn Park . The freeway between Interstate 494 and Interstate 694 was originally built by Hennepin County as County Road 18. In 1988, County Road 18 was transferred to the state of Minnesota and became the new alignment for Highway 169 in the Minneapolis area. In exchange, Hennepin County took over maintenance of two other highways that were formerly state routes. In the Minneapolis area, U.S. 169 is often congested, but the freeway passes close to residential neighborhoods in many locations, so any expansion of the freeway would disrupt housing stock in the surrounding area.

From 109th Avenue North to the Mississippi River, U.S. 169 remains an expressway until Anoka, where it becomes a street. It then joins U.S. 10 west to Elk River. Those highways diverge at Babcock Wayside on the Mississippi River.

North of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, U.S. 169 continues as an expressway to Mille Lacs Lake, an important resort area. The highway skirts the western shore of the lake. 74 miles (119 km) of U.S. 169 from Elk River to Garrison is officially designated the POW / MIA Memorial Highway. From Mille Lacs Lake, U.S. 169 continues northward to its junction with U.S. 2 at Grand Rapids. Here, 169 turns northeasterly to reach the cities of the Mesabi Iron Range.

At the eastern end of Grand Rapids, U.S. 169 becomes an expressway and remains such for 8 miles. An additional 1.5 miles, from Taconite to Itasca County Road 7; will be complete in 2016. It passes through the cities of Hibbing, Chisholm, and Mountain Iron before reaching U.S. 53 at the city of Virginia. This four-lane stretch of 169 is also known as the Highway 169 Cross Range Expressway. The northern terminus of U.S. 169 is at the city of Virginia.

State Highway 169 begins immediately north of Virginia in Wuori Township; and continues northeast for 49 miles (79 km) to the cities of Tower, Ely, and Winton. State Highway 169 is numbered as an extension of U.S. 169.

U.S. 169 is one of three Minnesota U.S. marked highways to carry the same number as an existing state marked highway within the state. The others being Highways 61 and 65.

Legally, the Minnesota section of U.S. 169 is defined as all or part of Routes 5, 7, 383, 3, 18, and 35 in the Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.117(4).[1],[2] The route is not marked with those numbers.


Exit numbers started appearing in Shakopee in 2016

U.S. 169 was extended into Minnesota c. 1931.[2] The route in Minnesota was paved by 1940.[2]

Previously, U.S. 169 served as the northern terminus of U.S. 53 in Virginia. U.S. 169 then continued north into International Falls. Today, U.S. 53 serves as the terminus of U.S. 169 in Virginia.

U.S. 169, between the junction with State Highway 60 (south of Mankato) and the Twin Cities, was upgraded to at least expressway status over several stages. The freeway section around Mankato and the adjoining expressway sections were completed in the early 1960s, along with bypasses of Le Sueur, Jordan and Belle Plaine.[2]

The U.S. 169 freeway bypass around Shakopee was built in the mid-1990s along a new alignment, which included the newly constructed Bloomington Ferry Bridge. Prior to this realignment, U.S. 169 crossed the Minnesota River from downtown Shakopee where it had been co-signed with State Highway 101. North of the river crossing, U.S. 169 had previously been co-signed with what was then U.S. 212 (Flying Cloud Drive) through Eden Prairie until 1996.

A new U.S. 169 interchange with State Highway 19, near Henderson, was completed in 2002.[2]

An expressway section of Highway 169 through southern Hennepin County was converted to full freeway in 2006, with new interchanges constructed at Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes Parkway. At-grade intersections with traffic signals have been removed at the recently constructed Interstate 494 interchange, which was previously a point of frequent congestion.

North of the Twin Cities, Highway 169 has been upgraded to an expressway between Elk River and the southern end of Mille Lacs Lake, with bypasses of Princeton and Milaca built in the late 1980s.

U.S. 169 between Hill City and Grand Rapids has been built to super-2 standards.

The expressway section between Pengilly and the city of Virginia was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2008, construction began on a new Highway 169 interchange with County Road 81 and 85th Avenue North in Brooklyn Park. This interchange is also known as The Devil's Triangle, or simply as "The Triangle", because of the major traffic congestion during rush hour, especially in the afternoon. Construction was completed on August 11, 2011.

During the flooding of September 2010, flood waters destroyed a 150-foot section of the northbound lanes of Highway 169 between St. Peter and Le Sueur. MnDOT believes, "when the flood waters rose up it found a weak spot in the slope or the dirt bank and got under the grass and started mining under the pavement. Finally, it just sucked all the dirt out and the pavement just dropped into a hole." Traffic was detoured to the southbound lanes of 169 for a month, resulting in a temporary two lane expressway, until the northbound section was repaired.

In November 2010, construction began on a completely redesigned Highway 169 interchange at Interstate 494, where three traffic signals had existed. The new interchange features six roundabouts, new flyover bridges, and two new bridges over I-494 that will carry West 78th Street and Washington Avenue. Major construction began in March 2011. Construction continued in spring 2012 with the completion of reconstructing surrounding roads and remaining ramps. MnDOT completed the entire project in November 2012. The 2010 cost of the construction project was $140 million.[3] [4]

In 2016, exit numbers have started appearing on the Shakopee portion of the freeway section in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area.

Between 2022 and 2024, the section of Highway 169 between U.S. 10 and 197th Ave. in Elk River is being rebuilt as a freeway, with four new interchanges and a replacement of the northbound bridge over Highway 10.[5] In 2023, the cloverleaf interchange at Rockford Rd. in Plymouth was replaced with a folded-diamond interchange and a new, wider bridge to accommodate for both bicyclists and pedestrians.[6]


A study to convert U.S. 169 to a freeway between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman was completed in late 2009. A complete review of the project by MnDOT will occur in 2011. A complete construction schedule and timeline will then by released by MnDOT. Allocation of funds for the project is currently underway and the only thing holding back from starting the project. The project is expected to cost around $178 Million. In the meantime, the 14 miles between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman will be resurfaced during the 2012 construction season. The construction will begin in May 2012.[7]

Major intersections[edit]

US 169 south – Algona
Continuation into Iowa
Blue Earth9.59915.448
CSAH 16 east / CSAH 53 (7th Street)
South end of CSAH 16 overlap; formerly US 16; access to United Hospital District Hospital
CSAH 16 west (Leland Parkway) / 1st Street
North end of CSAH 16 overlap; formerly US 16
I-90 – Fairmont, Albert LeaI-90 exit 119
MN 109 east – Wells
Blue EarthAmboy28.50645.876
MN 30 east – Mapleton
Southern end of MN 30 overlap
MN 30 west – St. James
Northern end of MN 30 overlap
South Bend Township47.74676.840
MN 60 west – Lake Crystal, Sioux City
Southern end of MN 60 overlap

CSAH 90 east
Partial interchange; entrances and northbound exit; southbound exit via at-grade left turn
MN 68 west / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – New Ulm, Campground
At-grade intersection
Mankato52.05783.778Frontage RoadSouthern end of expressway section; northbound exit and southbound entrance
52.94185.200Riverfront DriveFormer MN 66
NicolletNorth Mankato52.91985.165Lookout Drive / Center StreetCenter Street not signed southbound
53.56886.209North Mankato, Mankato, DowntownNorthern end of expressway section
MankatoNorth Mankato line55.65989.574
MN 60 east / US 14 / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – New Ulm, Waseca
Interchange; northern end of MN 60 overlap
St. Peter64.726104.166 MN 295 – St. Peter Regional Treatment CenterFormer southbound exit, northbound intersection
MN 99 west – Nicollet
At-grade intersection; southern end of MN 99 overlap
MN 22 south / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway
At-grade intersection; southern end of MN 22 overlap

MN 99 east (Broadway Avenue) / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway to CSAH 5 – Le Center
At-grade intersection; northern end of MN 99 overlap
MN 22 north – Gaylord
At-grade intersection; northern end of MN 22 overlap
SibleyHenderson Township76.194122.622

MN 93 south / CSAH 8 west (336th Street) / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – Le Sueur
Southern end of MN 93 overlap
MN 93 north / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – Henderson
At-grade intersection; northern end of MN 93 overlap
Le SueurLe Sueur78.383126.145
CSAH 22 south – Le Sueur
Interchange; formerly MN 112
Le SueurScott
county line
township line
83.821134.897 MN 19 – New Prague, Gaylord
ScottBelle Plaine90.714145.990 CSAH 3 (Meridian Street)RIRO interchange

MN 25 north (Main Street) / CSAH 64 east
Jackson Township96.209154.833 CSAH 55 (Delaware Avenue)At-grade intersection; to be replaced with an interchange in 2024

MN 282 east / CSAH 9 to MN 21
At-grade intersection; to be replaced with an interchange in 2025-2026
MN 21 south – Jordan, New Prague
Partial interchange; MN 21 only signed southbound
Jackson Township103.614166.751
CSAH 14 north (150th Street)
RIRO Interchange

MN 41 north / CSAH 78 south – Chaska
Southern end of freeway section, Diverging diamond interchange

CSAH 69 (Old Brick Yard Road) / US 169 Bus. north
US 169 Business only signed northbound
108.203174.136108 CSAH 15 (Marystown Road)
109.948176.944110 CSAH 17 (Marschall Road)Access to St. Francis Regional Medical Center and Marschall Road Transit Station
111.691179.749112 CSAH 83 (Canterbury Road)
113 MN 13 / CSAH 21 – BurnsvilleNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only; access to Eagle Creek Park and Ride
114 CSAH 21 to CSAH 18No northbound exit; northbound entrance includes direct entrance ramp from Stagecoach Road

CSAH 101 / US 169 Bus. south to MN 13 – Savage, Shakopee
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
Minnesota River115.698–
Bloomington Ferry Bridge; Scott–Hennepin county line
CSAH 1 east (Old Shakopee Road) / Riverview Road
Southern end of CSAH 1 overlap
CSAH 1 west (Pioneer Trail)
Northern end of CSAH 1 overlap
118.436190.604Bloomington Ferry Road, Anderson Lakes Parkway
119.969193.071Washington Avenue, Marth RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
120.023193.158 I-494 / MN 5I-494 exits 10A-B
BloomingtonEdina line120.801194.41078th StreetSouthbound exit only
Edina120.971194.684Valley View Road
EdinaEden Prairie line122.189–

US 212 west / MN 62 (Crosstown Highway)
122.784197.602Londonderry Road, Bren Road
HopkinsEdina line123.789199.2195th Street South, Lincoln Drive
Hopkins124.384200.177 CSAH 3 – Downtown Hopkins
125.289201.633 MN 7 – Minneapolis, Excelsior
St. Louis Park125.653202.21936th StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance only
MinnetonkaSt. Louis Park line126.128202.983 CSAH 5 (Minnetonka Boulevard)
126.706203.914Cedar Lake Road
127.611205.37016th StreetNorthbound exit and entrance only
St. Louis ParkGolden Valley line128.022206.031 I-394 – MinneapolisI-394 exit 3
PlymouthGolden Valley line128.417206.667Betty Crocker Drive, Shelard Parkway
128.690207.106 MN 55 – Minneapolis, Buffalo
129.369208.19913th Avenue, Plymouth Avenue
PlymouthGolden Valley
New Hope tripoint
130.371209.812 CSAH 70 (Medicine Lake Road)
PlymouthNew Hope line131.376211.42936th Avenue North
132.158212.688 CSAH 9 (Rockford Road)
132.891213.86749th Avenue North
Maple GroveBrooklyn Park line133.861215.428 CSAH 10 (Bass Lake Road)
134.654216.70563rd Avenue North
135.601218.229 I-94 / I-694 / US 52I-94/694 exits 29A-B
136.398219.511 CSAH 130 (Elm Creek Boulevard, Brooklyn Boulevard)
Brooklyn Park137.572221.401 CSAH 81 (Bottineau Boulevard) / CSAH 109 (85th Avenue North)
138.819223.408 CSAH 30 (93rd Avenue North)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
139.328224.227 MN 610
139.808224.999101st Avenue NorthNorthern end of freeway section

Great River Road (National Route) south / West River Road / Dean Avenue
Southern end of Great River Road overlap

CSAH 12 / Great River Road (National Route) north / Dayton Road / Miller Road
Northern end of Great River Road overlap
Mississippi River143.339–
Anoka–Champlin Mississippi River Bridge
US 10 east / MN 47
Southern end of US 10 overlap; southern end of freeway section; access to Anoka station (Northstar Line)
144.923233.231Main Street, Greenhaven RoadNorthern end of freeway section
Ramsey CSAH 83 (Armstrong Boulevard NW)Access to Ramsey station (Northstar Line)
SherburneElk River155.703250.580

US 10 west / MN 101 south – Elk River, Rogers
Northern end of US 10 overlap
156.642252.091 CSAH 12 (Main Street)Current at-grade intersection with traffic lights; interchange in progress
157.261253.087School Street / Elk Hills DriveInterchange opened in 2023; former at-grade intersection with traffic lights
157.991254.262Jackson Street / 193rd AvenueInterchange opened in 2023; former at-grade intersection with traffic lights
158.491255.067197th AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance opened in 2022; former at-grade intersection with traffic lights
159.349256.447 CSAH 33Interchange
Baldwin Township170.726274.757 CSAH 9Interchange
CSAH 29 north (Rum River Drive)
Interchange; access to M Health Fairview Northland Medical Center
Mille Lacs176.205283.574 MN 95 – St. Cloud, PrincetonInterchange
CSAH 29 south (Rum River Drive)
Milaca189.035304.222 MN 23 – MilacaInterchange
MN 27 west – Pierz
Southern end of MN 27 overlap; access to Onamia Hospital
MN 27 east / Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway – Wahkon, Isle
Northern end of MN 27 overlap
Crow WingGarrison231.395372.394

MN 18 west to MN 6 – Deerwood, Brainerd
Southern end of MN 18 overlap
AitkinHazelton Township236.536380.668
MN 18 east / Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway – Malmo
Northern end of MN 18 overlap
MN 47 south – Malmo
Access to Aitkin Hospital
MN 210 west – Crosby, Brainerd
Southern end of MN 210 overlap
MN 210 east – McGregor, Duluth
Northern end of MN 210 overlap
Morrison Township261.361420.620

CSAH 21 / Great River Road (National Route) south
Southern end of Great River Road overlap

CSAH 10 / Great River Road (National Route) north
Northern end of Great River Road overlap
Hill City284.599458.018 MN 200 – Remer, Jacobson
ItascaGrand Rapids302.803487.314
US 2 west (NW 4th Street) – Bemidji
Southern end of US 2 overlap
US 2 east – Duluth
Northern end of US 2 overlap
MN 65 south
Southern end of MN 65 overlap
MN 65 north – Littlefork
Northern end of MN 65 overlap
St. LouisHibbing334.057537.613
MN 73 south – Floodwood
1st Avenue (US 169 Bus.)
MN 37 east (40th Street) – Eveleth
Howard Street (US 169 Bus.)
MN 73 north – Chisholm
Northern end of MN 73 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Mountain Iron356.922574.410 CR 102
Virginia359.462578.498 US 53 – Duluth, International FallsInterchange; national northern end of US 169; access to Virginia Hospital
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing — Construction District 1" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. August 14, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 152–218". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Retrieved November 21, 2010.[self-published source]
  3. ^ "Street construction: Highway 169 (TH169) Road Improvements". www.ci.bloomington.mn.us. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23.
  4. ^ http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/169/ [dead link]
  5. ^ https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/elkriverfreeway/
  6. ^ https://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169plymouth-newhope/
  7. ^ http://projects.dot.state.mn.us/srf/169elkriver/index.html [dead link]
  8. ^ Minnesota Department of Transportation. "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Transportation. pp. 93, 203–226. Retrieved October 22, 2015.

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