Narrows Bridge rehabilitation

County Road 19 in Orono and Tonka Bay

Hennepin County will rehabilitate the Shadywood Road Bridge (County Road 19) over the Narrows, frequently referred to as the Narrows Bridge. 

Rehabilitation work began June 1.

shoreline drive timeline

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Construction updates

Project on track for September reopening as first milestone reached

Weather and efficient work is keeping the rehabilitation of Narrows Bridge on track.

Already, crews have:

  • removed the existing bridge deck,
  • repaired the bridge abutments, and
  • refurbished bridge components below the deck.

Now crews are working on the last major milestone – constructing the bridge deck. If all goes well, the new bridge may be open to traffic by early September.

Next stage includes extensive bridge deck construction work

During the week of July 20, crews finished constructing the falsework, or temporary structures needed for construction of the bridge deck.

During the week of July 27, crews began preparing the bridge deck by laying thousands of feet of rebar needed to reinforce the concrete. 

Once the rebar is in place, crews will pour concrete for the new bridge surface and then let the concrete cure the three or four weeks needed for it to reach full strength. During that time, crews will work on rebuilding the roadway at both ends of the bridge. During that time, crews will work on rebuilding the roadway at both ends of the bridge.

After that, crews can then work on the finishing touches needs to reopen the bridge to traffic. 

We do anticipate that crews will remain on site after the bridge reopens to complete the project. 

Scaffolding on the new Narrows Bridge deck

Last week, crews completed temporary scaffolding and structures.

Crews set thousand of feet of rebar in preparation for the deck pour

This week, crews have been setting rebar in preparation for the concrete deck pour.

Access and impacts

Channel remains open

The Narrows Channel remains open for people boating. There will be one more five-day non-weekend channel closure to allow crews to complete work on the bridge. 

We will inform people of the closure ahead of time via email updates on the project website and signage at the channel. 

Roadway detour remains in place

People driving will need to continue using the detour taking:

  • Highway 7
  • Westedge Boulevard/County Road 44
  • Commerce/Bartlett Boulevard (County Road 110)
  • Shoreline Drive (County Road 15)

A part of the detour route will go through an active construction area at the Shoreline Drive and Shadywood Road (County Road 19) intersection. Please anticipate traffic configuration changes and delays when traveling through.

People walking, biking and rolling will need to use alternative routes to get around the closure.

Narrows Bridge detour

Map of the detour during the Narrows Bridge closure. For a larger view of the map, click here.

Detour changes coming in August

During the week of August 10, Minnesota Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin a three-month long slope repair and drainage project on Highway 7 in Victoria. There will be closures on Highway 7, and this project will impact people coming from north of the Narrows Bridge. Their work will require us to adjust the detour route until we reopen the bridge.

The detour routes for through traffic will vary depending on direction. The signed detour route for all traffic, including large and heavy vehicles, delivery trucks and similar, coming from north of the Narrows Bridge will be:

  • Shoreline Drive
  • Commerce/Bartlett Boulevard
  • Westedge Boulevard/County Road 44
  • Highway 7
  • Victoria Drive (Carver County Road 11)
  • Arboretum Boulevard (Highway 5)
  • Hazeltine Boulevard (Highway 41)

For people driving passenger vehicles only, an unsigned alternate detour route is available:

  • Shoreline Drive (County Road 15)
  • Highway 12
  • Central Avenue (County Road 101)
  • Wayzata Boulevard (County Road 101)
  • Bushaway Road/County Road 101
  • Highway 7

People coming from south of the Narrows Bridge can continue to use the current detour except for two weekend full closures of westbound lanes on Highway 7. During that time, people coming from south of the Narrows Bridge will also need use the detour that uses the same roads as those coming from the north. MnDOT and the county will notify users of those upcoming closures.

MnDOT and county staff have been coordinating – and continue to coordinate – as much as possible. The MnDOT work required on Highway 7 needs to be completed in the current time frame due to slope failures near Lake Zumbra and the Narrows Bridge rehabilitation is a more extensive project, so an overlap in timing was unavoidable.

 Official, signed detour during the Narrows Bridge and Highway 7 closure 

Map of the signed detour during the Narrows Bridge and Highway 7 closures. For a larger view of the map, click here. 

Alternate route for passenger vehicles

Map of the unsigned alternate detour for people driving passenger vehicles only. For a larger view of the map, click here.

Additional projects nearby

There will be other projects in the area in 2020. These include two-county led reconstruction efforts:

We coordinating these efforts and all other construction and maintenance activities to the best of our ability.

Roadway and bridge maintenance activities in the area

In addition to the projects, the county will also complete regular short-term roadway and bridge maintenance activities. These activities include:

  • Roadway repaving, sweeping and cracksealing
  • Bridge inspections and flushing
  • Tree trimming

Impacts will vary depending on the work needed, but most work is done alongside traffic or with brief lane closures. We will provide updates via email as the projects near.

Also, the county is working with municipalities and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to coordinate on various other projects that will be happening this year and hope to minimize any overlap.

Project information

The current bridge, constructed in 1964, is in good overall condition, but needs some work to ensure a longer service life. When completed, the new bridge should last an additional 40 years
before any major reconstruction work is required.


Rehabilitation work on the Narrows Bridge will include:

  • Repairing the abutment foundation
  • Restoring the bridge bearings
  • Repainting all steel structures under the bridge
  • Pouring the bridge deck
  • Replacing traffic barriers on the bridge
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