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

Narrows Bridge reopens to traffic

The Narrows Bridge in Orono and Tonka Bay is now open to traffic, but the area remains an active construction site.

This means you can now travel on Shadywood Road (County Road 19) through the area without using a detour route. However, you will need to be aware that crews will be in the area and this could impact travel times and access to shoulders.

Be alert as work continues

Construction activities both on and underneath the bridge will continue for another month. Crews will finish the remaining tasks, such as painting the bridge railings and beams, sealing the bridge deck and repaving the parking lot below.

Access will remain open on the bridge for people driving, walking and biking, and we will keep disruptions to a minimum whenever possible. However, people should expect impacts over the next month to include:

  • Shoulder closures on the bridge, one side at a time
  • Traffic configuration changes
  • Parking lot closure underneath the bridge
  • No access to fishing at the Narrows Channel

For your safety and the safety of our crews, please use caution and be alert when traveling through.

Narrows Channel closed

Expect weekday closures for boat traffic; bridge remains open

On Monday morning, September 21, closed the Narrows Channel as part of the Narrows Bridge rehabilitation project in Orono and Tonka Bay.

Closing the channel to boat traffic will allow crews to safely construct a working platform and paint the beams underneath the bridge. 

Closure timing

Weather permitting, the channel is expected to close on these days next week and the following week.

  • Monday, September 21, through Thursday, September 24
  • Monday, September 28, through Tuesday, September 29

We will have signage at the channel to inform people of the upcoming closure. These are last channel closures scheduled for the project.

Narrows Bridge carrying Shadywood Road (County Road 19) over the Narrows Channel will remain open during this work.

Temporary vertical clearance restriction this weekend

In between the weekday channel closures, a temporary vertical clearance restriction will be set at 14 feet through the Narrows Channel. This will allow crews to continue work underneath the bridge over the weekend.

The temporary restrictions will be in place from Friday, September 25, through Sunday, September 27.

Access and impacts

During the channel closures, people boating will need to use alternate channels or other means to get around.

Roadway and bridge maintenance activities in the area

In addition to this project, 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.

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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