From Mankato to Interstate 694, the U.S. Highway 169 (US-169) corridor plays a key role in moving goods produced in south-central and southwestern Minnesota
to regional and international markets. This major freight route accesses principal highways, rail lines and the largest intermodal inland waterway grain facility in the
upper Midwest (the Ports of Savage). In the last two decades, the highway has also grown in importance as a corridor for commuter traffic.
For US-169 to remain a viable, efficient conduit in the movement of goods and people, congestion in the corridor must be successfully addressed. Increases in traffic have resulted
in longer, more hazardous travel times. This, in turn, has a negative effect on the corridor’s ability to connect with other parts of the state and the region, as well as to national and
international markets. Maintaining the viability and efficiency of the corridor mandates a long-term commitment to a series of improvements designed to enhance the flow of traffic, both
commuter and commercial, along this increasingly congested highway system.
To bring attention to the needs of the US-169 corridor, in 2008 communities and counties, from Mankato in Blue Earth County to Bloomington and Edina in Hennepin County, began a series
of meetings. In the spring of 2009, the U.S. Highway 169 Corridor Coalition was officially established to advocate for the corridor.