Eagles Nest Lake area
- Six Mile Lake Road to Clear Lake
- 2015 to 2016
- $12 million to $15 million
- 1999/2000—the Hwy 169 Task Force was formed
- 2001—the task force published the Hwy 169 North Improvement Plan
- 2005—High Priority Projects Funds were authorized for the Hwy 169 corridor
- 2005–2011—MnDOT worked with the task force to develop and analyze 18 design alternatives for the Eagles Nest Corridor
- 2010—A Preferred Alternative (the South Route) was selected. This route was primarily on new roadway alignment.
- 2010—As part of the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process MnDOT developed a document outlining the purpose and need for the project.
- Late-2011—The cooperating agencies; the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, questioned the purpose and need of the project and the significant potential environmental impacts.
- March 2012—MnDOT determined that there was significant project risk in carrying forward the preferred alternative in light of the feedback received from the initial environmental review comments.
- Summer 2012— MnDOT initiated the development of an additional alternative using MnDOT’s recently developed performance-based design standards.
Eighteen alternatives were analyzed within the Eagles Nest Corridor. MnDOT worked closely with the Hwy 169 Task Force in the selection and evaluation of these alternatives. The following criteria was evaluated for each alternative:
- Roadway shading problems/maintenance costs
- Roadway geometrics/passing opportunities
- Property impacts (right of way needs)
- Environmental impacts (noise, wetlands, sulfide rock)
- Construction staging
The Hwy 1/169 corridor in the Ely area has an average annual daily traffic of 4,000. (2011 traffic counts).
Several transportation-related deficiencies have been identified on this corridor, including horizontal and vertical curves, narrow shoulders and steep roadside drops. Trees and vegetation are encroaching on sight lines, there are few turn lanes and few opportunities to safely pass. These deficiencies contribute to higher than average crash rates in the district.
The Tower to Ely Eagles Nest area project is being developed to address these deficiencies. The project includes a 5.5 mile reconstruction and the addition of turn lanes and potential passing zones.
- No current traffic impacts.
- Anticipate need for a detour for through-traffic during construction
What will be done
- Improve 5.7 miles of Hwy 169
- Complete reconstruction in areas to be realigned, other areas will be resurfaced and widened.
Preliminary project layout
- Flattened hills and straightened curves to improve sight lines and passing safety
- Widened shoulders to provide motorists with safer pull-off areas and possibly help reduce the chance of run-off-the-road crashes
- Flattened slopes along the edges of Hwy 1/169 to help reduce the severity of run-off-the-road crashes
- Improved ditching and drainage
- Minimized wetland impacts and rock excavation
- Design speed - Minimum of 55 mph
- Travel lanes - 12-feet-wide
- Shoulders - Eight-feet-wide (six-feet paved and two-feet gravel)
Other nearby projects