Fatal crash spurs changes to 169 detour

MANKATO, Minn. - A fatal crash Tuesday is leading to changes in a detour on State Highway 169 between St. Peter and LeSueur.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is adding additional stop situations beginning Wednesday, and warning drivers to expect additional delays as adjustments to the route are made to improve safety.

The detour, which includes Broadway Avenue in St. Peter, Nicollet County Road 20 and Sibley County Road 8, was the concern of many local citizens. On Tuesday 70-year-old Thomas Wendelschafer of St. Peter was killed when his pickup collided with a semi at the intersection of County Road 20 and Highway 22.

MnDOT officials have reviewed the detour and will be changing a number of intersections including:

  • Broadway and Washington – restore 4-way stop
  • Broadway and Sunrise – restore 4-way stop
  • Broadway/County Road 5 and Nicollet County Road 20 – restore stop signs at County Road 20; Broadway traffic does not stop
  • County Road 20 and County Road 15 – Closure for County Road 15 at County Road 20
  • County Road 20 and Hwy 22 – create 4-way stop with additional signing and rumble strips
  • County Road 20 north of St. Peter – place message boards alerting traffic of hidden entrances with 45 mph speed advisory

Speeding was a significant concern with the initial detour, so additional signing and law enforcement patrols will be added. The detour is expected to be removed by September 2.

The project includes raising the road and reconstructing two miles in flood prone areas so that the southbound lanes remain above a 100-year flood and can carry traffic during high water.

It also includes resurfacing 9 miles of southbound Hwy 169 for a smoother ride and access revisions in St. Peter for improved safety.


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