Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 169 — Cross Range corridor study

Itasca County

About this study

A rendering of the Hwy 169 study from Taconite to Pengilly.

Click image for full-size PDF

Study of Hwy 169 between Taconite to Pengilly to evaluate the existing corridor, conduct traffic analysis and provide alternative screenings.

Since the 1980s, a variety of studies, environmental documents and projects have been completed on Hwy 169 through the Iron Range. Over the past two decades, much of the corridor between Grand Rapids and Taconite has undergone roadway reconstruction, adding capacity and modernizing the roadway. The 8-mile section of corridor from Taconite to Pengilly is currently being studied to understand existing and future transportation needs and inform future projects.

A full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was last conducted in 1989 on portions of the study corridor. Additional environmental documentation was also completed in the early 2000s, to document needs near, but not within the current study area. Since these studies, federal regulations have changed to require a more robust environmental analysis and assessment of needs along the corridor. In order to meet requirements for federal funding, and to better understand the current and future needs of Hwy 169 from Taconite to Pengilly, MnDOT is taking a deeper look into how the roadway functions today in order to plan for its future. The study will:

  • Engage local partners, organizations, and community members to gather feedback on existing roadway issues and share new information related to the study
  • Document community conditions such as land use and the natural environment
  • Evaluate existing and future traffic conditions such as congestion and safety issues
  • Establish a future vision for the corridor based on the issues and concerns identified by community members and the traffic analysis
  • Identify potential improvement projects that meet the needs and vision for the corridor

Results of the study will help MnDOT and local agencies plan improvement projects to address existing issues and plan for the future of the corridor.

Public meetings

MnDOT hosted a public meeting on Sept. 19, 2022. For those who were unable to attend, you can view a recording of the video below.

Traffic impacts

Unknown at this time.