Highway 169 in St. Louis Park is getting a makeover of sorts.
A small frontage road that grants access at three points—22nd Street, 22nd Lane and 23rd Street (see attached map)—is going to be shut down and replaced with a 12-foot tall barrier. The project, which will be paid for by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, is expected to get underway sometime next year.
The St. Louis Park City Council voted unanimously on Monday to support the project.
MnDOT is pursuing the project because the department wants to eventually close all direct access ramps between local streets and freeways for safety reasons.
Residents have also been supportive of the project. Julia Ross, the city’s Fourth Ward councilwoman, said constituents who live nearby have told her they want the lane closed. Many cited safety as their reason, with some residents saying they were frustrated over drivers who leave the highway during rush hour and use the frontage road to "move farther ahead in the queue.”
“It’s been pretty much overwhelming support,” she said.
The change to the highway isn’t expected to impact many drivers—a traffic study commissioned by the city showed that only about 200 to 300 drivers use the frontage road per day.