Open house scheduled to discuss bridge reconstruction project over French River

The bridge on Scenic Highway 61 crossing the French River is scheduled for reconstruction in 2020. A public meeting about the project will be held April 4 at French River Lutheran Church. Submitted / St. Louis County

The 98-year-old bridge where North Shore Scenic Drive crosses the French River is scheduled for reconstruction in 2020. An open house to discuss the project and answer questions will be held Thursday, April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at French River Lutheran Church, located at 5310 Ryan Road.

The project will include replacement of the bridge with a new concrete beam single span bridge. The existing bridge, built in 1921 and remodeled in 1951, is considered structurally deficient and requires load weight restrictions. The nearby wayside park also will see improvements as part of the project. The area has been affected by recent storms, and long-term, sustainable erosion control solutions are being planned.

County engineers have been working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the North Shore Scenic Drive Council on the preliminary design of the bridge and wayside area; and with the North Shore Sanitary Sewer District and other utilities to make sure their utilities are accommodated in the design.

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