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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Closures, impacts and access

Narrows Bridge closed

On Monday, June 1, the Narrows Bridge closed to all traffic.  We anticipate the bridge will be closed for up to three months.

Detour and access

During the closure, people driving will need to use 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.

Narrows Bridge detour

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

Expect short-term, weekday channel closures

The Narrows Channel will also close for short durations during the construction.

We anticipate closing the channel two times. Both closures will be during the weekday and last five days each. We will inform people of these closures ahead of time via email updates, on the project website and signage at the channel. We do not anticipate any need to fully close the channel during the weekends — including during the Fourth of July weekend.

There will also be intermittent partial closures including on weekends. The channel width will be restricted, but people boating will still be able to travel through the area. We will inform people of these closures with signage and traffic control boats to guide boaters through the channel.

Construction updates

Bridge rehabilitation project began Monday, June 1

On Monday, June 1, crews began the Narrows Bridge rehabilitation project in Orono and Tonka Bay.

Crews will remove the bridge deck, restore components underneath and replace the bridge deck during the course of the project. This will ensure a longer service life for the bridge and reduce the need for frequent maintenance activities in the future.

Bridge closing for construction safety

We anticipate the bridge will be closed for up to three months. While the bridge is closed, we will be working on essential activities needed to reopen the bridge as quick as possible.

The bridge design, the extensive work involved, land restrictions around the site and crew safety are four key reasons why the bridge cannot remain open during construction.

Once crews can safely reopen the bridge, the road will reopen to through traffic and crews will complete the remaining construction activities. Crews will be on site, so people will need to exercise caution and should expect delays.

Expect short-term, weekday channel closures

The Narrows Channel will also close for short durations during the construction.

We anticipate closing the channel two times. Both closures will be during the weekday and last five days each. We will inform people of these closures ahead of time via email updates, on the project website and signage at the channel. We do not anticipate any need to fully close the channel during the weekends — including during the Fourth of July weekend.

There will also be intermittent partial closures including on weekends. The channel width will be restricted, but people boating will still be able to travel through the area. We will inform people of these closures with signage and traffic control boats to guide boaters through the channel. 

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.

Features

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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