Officials with St. Louis County are making plans for the replacement of the 98-year old bridge that crosses the French River along the North Shore Scenic Drive/Highway 61.  The work is expected to begin in 2020.

In advance, St. Louis County public works is making every effort to communicate the design plans and answer questions.  Along those means, an open house has been scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 6:00 til 8:00 PM at the French River Lutheran Church - 5310 Ryan Road.

The concrete beam, single span bridge will be replaced with a newer, modern design.  The existing bridge was first put into service in 1921, with a remodel in 1951.  At the present time the bridge is considered structurally deficient and it requires weight load restrictions to be in place. In addition, heavy storms over the past few years have eroded boil around the bridge.

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 replacement bridge and wayside rest area.  They have also partnered with the North Shore Sanitary Sewer District and other utilities to make sure that their utilities are accommodated in the design.