ST. LOIS PARK, Minn. - The commute on Highway 100 in St. Louis Park is about to get less congested, at least for now.
The Highway 7 bridge, and its ramps to and from Highway 100, will reopen by this weekend, possibly sooner, according to MnDOT. All six of the new, resurfaced lanes on Highway 100 will open for good in the next two weeks, once a new concrete median is fully installed.
"I can't wait for this 100 to be done," said Mariana Stershic, who commutes into downtown from the West Metro. "I think that will help alleviate some of the traffic on 169."
But that relief won't last long, because Highway 169 is the next major project and it will start in less than three months.
MnDOT will completely close 169 from 7th Street (5th St./ Lincoln Dr.) to Bren Road in both directions from January to September 2017 in order to replace a bridge. By Spring, an even longer stretch of Highway 169 will see periodic lane restrictions and ramp closures from Highway 55 to Highway 62.
The completion of the construction on 100 is critical because it will see increased traffic as it becomes a major detour for Highway 169, along with I-494.
Still, many residents worry that drivers won't use the recommended detours and decide to cut through neighborhoods and other roads instead.
"The big concern for me is that I'm not going to be able to go out here and go left," said Stershic said, who lives in a neighborhood off of Shady Oak Road. "It's going to be gridlock."
MnDOT pledges to have checks in place to work out traffic and other problems that might arise, but Stershic knows the pain will last another year.
"They have to do it, and we all have to be inconvenienced," she said. "We just have to be patient with it."
For more information on the Highway 169 project, click here.