High river closes Highway 169 and area bridges

For Gusties trying to get to Mankato or the Twin Cities, recent flooding will likely make their commute more challenging. Recent rain has caused the Minnesota River to reach very high levels. Many roads near the river are closed.

At the time of this posting, Highway 169 is closed both north and south of St. Peter.  The Highway 22 and Highway 99 bridges are also closed in St. Peter.

South of St. Peter, Highway 169 is closed at Highway 99. The alternate route is to take Highway 99 to County Road 13 to Highway 14. Highway 169 is open at Highway 14 in North Mankato.

North of St. Peter, Highway 169 is closed near Union St. to Le Sueur. Roads near Le Sueur are also closed due to flooding. Motorists traveling to the Twin Cities may want to check the MN/DOT travel information website for the latest information.

In addition to these closures, the Highway 22 bridge over the Minnesota River is closed.  The Highway 99 bridge over the Minnesota River is also closed.  Travelers should use the Highway 169 detour and cross the Minnesota River at Highway 14 in North Mankato.

According to the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the Minnesota River continues to rise.  In Mankato, the River is expected to crest at 1 a.m. tomorrow at a height of 28.2 feet.  At 11:00 a.m. today, the river was 27.33 feet high. Because we have not yet hit its crest, it will take some time for the river to lower.  Flood stage is 22 feet.

UPDATE (Mon, Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m.): The river continues to rise. The National Weather Service recorded the river as being at 27.93 feet in Mankato at 11:00 a.m. today. Currently, it is predicted to crest at 28 feet at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

The higher water levels are evident on area roads. Highway 169, Highway 22, and Highway 99 all have more water on them than they did yesterday.

A cable television line near the Highway 99 bridge that has been in the water for the past couple of days is now holding a large tree limb that was passing downstream, causing stress on power lines. Crews are working on the situation. The cable is visible in IMGP0117 in the photo gallery below, taken Sunday.

Water is threatening homes in St. Peter near the river. A pump is being utilized to pump water away from homes on Front St. near the Nicollet County Courthouse. Front St. itself has a bit of water on it in one stretch. Water is also just feet from mobile homes on Highway 169 on the north end of town.

Traffic in St. Peter is less busy than it is on a normal day. Once you get to St. Peter, the college is easily accessible and water-free.

UPDATE (Mon, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.): At 5:00 p.m. tonight, the river measured in at 27.83 feet in Mankato, a lower level than earlier in the day. The river is projected to fall now, but it may be a few more days before area roads are fully open again.

UPDATE (Tue, Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m.): The river level continues to fall slowly. At 5:00 a.m., it measured 27.46 feet at Mankato.

UPDATE (Fri, Oct. 1 at 11:45 a.m.): Highway 169 from St. Peter to Mankato and the Highway 22 bridge reopened last night. Highway 169 towards the Twin Cities and the Highway 99 bridge remain closed.

Take a look at some pictures taken of the flooded roads below.

6 thoughts on “High river closes Highway 169 and area bridges

  1. We are coming to the Nobel Conference from Minneapolis. Is there any more information on the detour other than the Weekly’s posting, “Travelers should use the Highway 169 detour and cross the Minnesota River at Highway 14 in North Mankato.” I am interested in knowing the route of the detour and how much time it will add to our trip. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Barbara.

      Although I have not traveled up to the Twin Cities since the closure, I have heard from others that the detour is adding significant amounts of time to people’s commutes (often doubling the time). As far as a route, it may depend on which side of the cities you are on. You could take 169 down to Belle Plaine and then take an alternative route to the west.

      Alternatively, it might make sense to take Highway 13 down from the cities.

      I would imagine that MN/DOT will be opening 169 back up soon, but this could greatly depend on the condition of the roads following the flooding. Let’s all hope it is back open by Tuesday so no one has to deal with this!

      For the latest on closures, see: http://hb.511mn.org/main.jsf. This page could help you map out a route, also.

      Tom Lany
      Web Editor, The Gustavian Weekly

    2. Also, this is the information regarding a detour posted on the MN/DOT website: Hwy. 169 between St. Peter and LeSueur closed due to flooding. Use alternate route: Hwy. 14 or Hwy. 99 west o Nicollet, Hwy. 111/Hwy. 22 north to Sibley Co. Rd. 8, east to Hwy. 169

  2. Wow that is terrible. I hope the water levels return to normal soon.

    I live in Tampa, Florida and we have a much smaller river that had some similar flooding, my parents actually lived on the river. Fortunately the water came up right to the top step of the house before receding back down. It was a real blessing, a few more inches and the entire first floor of the house would have been ruined.

    Hope everything has returned back to normal!

    Cole Haynes

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