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North Shore Bridges replacement

County Road 51 in Orono

Hennepin County, in coordination with the City of Orono, is expected to replace two bridges carrying North Shore Drive over the Hendrickson and Noerenberg channels. These bridges are frequently referred to separately as the Hendrickson Bridge and Noerenberg Bridge.

Construction began in June 2022.

The North Shore Bridges project will be completed in 2022.
 
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Project enters final phase as bridge work wraps up 

Roadway and bridges to open to traffic by late October

As of this week, all major concrete work on both bridges will be complete.  

When crews complete this work, they will finish the remaining bridge construction activities, including: 

  • painting the bridge 
  • installing expansion joints allow the concrete to safely move 
  • planning, or "grooving," the bridge deck to increase traction and create efficient drainage 
  • sealing the bridge deck to waterproof and protect the concrete surface 

Crews also recently began reconstructing North Shore Drive (County Road 51) at both ends of the new bridges. We will reconstruct the road, making improvements to the roadway base and connect the roads to the approaches for both new bridges. 

We anticipate the final construction phase to take up to a month to complete before we reopen both bridges and the roadway to traffic. 

View of the Hendrickson Bridge

View of the Hendrickson Bridge.

View of the Noerenberg Bridge

View of the Noerenberg Bridge.

Bridges closed until fall

In June, we closed both the Hendrickson and Noerenberg bridges at the same time. This will allow us to limit closures and impacts for those traveling on North Shore Drive to just one construction season.

Barring any delays like weather, we anticipate this project will complete this fall.

Detour and local access

Use the detour to get around the closure

With both bridges closed, we will need to close North Shore Drive to through traffic starting June 6. The roadway will be closed the entire five months of the project. Due to location of this project, this will have an impact on you whether you drive, walk, bike or roll.

The detour for through traffic includes:

  • North Shore Drive (County Road 19)
  • Bayside Road (County Road 84)
  • Leaf Street (County Road 84)
  • Fox Street (County Road 84)
  • Old Crystal Bay Road (County Road 84)

Local access between the bridges

Access to North Shore Drive between the two bridges will remain open to local businesses, boat launches and homes. You will need to use the following route to access these locations.

  • North Shore Drive
  • Bayside Road
  • Tonkawa Road (County Road 135)
Local access and detour routes during the North Shore Bridge replacement project. 

Detour and local access routes during the bridge closures on North Shore Drive. Access a larger view of the map.

Hendrickson and Noerenberg channels remain open

The channels connecting North Arm, Maxwell and Crystal bays at the Hendrickson and Noerenberg bridges remain open, and we do not have any full channel closures planned for the remainder of construction.

However, for short durations, we will be using partial closures at these channels to complete our work at various times. We will restrict the channel width but people boating will still be able to travel through the area. Traffic control boats will guide boaters through the channel during the partial closures.

Project overview

Hennepin County, in coordination with the City of Orono and Metropolitan Council, is planning to replace two bridges carrying North Shore Drive (County Road 51) over the Hendrickson and Noerenberg channels. Many refer them separately as the Hendrickson Bridge and Noerenberg Bridge.

New bridges will require less maintenance

The new bridges will have the same dimensions and look to help preserve existing space for adjacent properties and the natural features along the channels.

When complete, the new bridges will reduce the need for frequent maintenance activities in the future and meet today's and future travel needs.

Preparing for North Shore Bridges project in 2022

We plan to begin replacing the two bridges as early as late spring/early summer 2022.

Replacing the bridges will reduce the need for frequent maintenance in the future and better meet present and future travel needs. The new bridges will have the same dimensions as the current bridges with an updated look, thereby preserving existing space and natural features along the channels.

The project will impact how people travel the area, as our current plan is to close and replace both bridges at the same time. This will allow our crews to complete all construction work and limit closures to just one construction season.

We encourage you to begin planning for this as you prepare for your daily travel, as well as any celebrations, special events and leisure activities.

Watch our video presentation to learn more

We posted a five-minute video of a presentation on the project website for you to view at your convenience.

The video covers:

  • Anticipated construction schedule
  • Detour routes during construction (new detour route as of April 2022; please check project information tab)
  • Local access to homes, businesses and destinations between the bridges
  • Best way for you to stay connected

We will also have some more information about a Metropolitan Council project planned prior to the bridges project.

After you watch the video, use the comment form on the project website to ask any our staff any remaining questions you might have or request additional information you might need.

North Shore Bridges comment form

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