Rising Waters on the Minnesota River Lead to Bridge Closings

June 25, 2018 10:30 PM

By Tuesday night, three bridges across the Minnesota River in Scott County will be closed.

The Scott County Sheriff's Department announced Sunday that the bridge in Jordan would close. And Monday, it announced the Minnesota Department of Transportation would close the Highway 41 Minnesota River bridge at 9 a.m. Tuesday due to flooding.


With the river still days away from reaching its crest, emergency management officials say those bridges will stay closed for some time forcing drivers to find a new normal.

PHOTOS: Stillwater Flooding

"They've got to go all the way around to Belle Plaine now," said Mike Gottwalt, who lives off of County Road 9 right next to the bridge closure in Jordan. He says his kids only work a couple miles up County Road 9, but now they'll have to add a half hour to their commute over the Highway 25 crossing in order to get around.

In addition to the Jordan bridge on County Road 9, the Blakeley bridge on County Road 1 closed Monday and Highway 41 in Chaska is closing Tuesday - limiting options for drivers looking to cross the Minnesota River.

"The Minnesota River is dependent on rainfall throughout the whole Minnesota river valley, and so we see it (rise) throughout the year based on cumulative effects of all the rain that has occurred in this area," Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen said.

He said the rising water comes from all the rain seen in the southwestern part of the state that's now eventually flowing into the Minnesota River.

RELATED: With Summer in Full Swing, Check Minnesota Water Levels

"So it could be some rain down in New Ulm by the Cottonwood River is now flowing into the river and that's going to be here in a number of days," he said.

With more rain now in the forecast and the river crest still to come, drivers will be forced to detour for weeks as they wait for waters first to finish rising, then to fall, and finally for crews to assess the damage before reopening any routes.

Highway 25 in Belle Plaine is still an open crossing option, as is Highway 101, which will likely become the most popular route around these closures.

The sheriff says Highway 101 should remain open as the county recently lifted that bridge higher to avoid flooding situations.

Scott County will post updates on its social media pages.

MnDOT also said drivers in Burnsville could expect delays while crews close the right lane on Interstate 35W between Cliff Road and Black Dog Road beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to build a dike meant to help prevent flooding on the freeway. All lanes are expected to reopen by 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the City of Carver announced the Main Street Bridge over Spring Creek in the community's downtown would likely close by Wednesday. Spring Creek is typically impacted by backwater from the Minnesota River when water levels are high, the city said.

RELATED: MnDOT Warns of Flooding on Southern Minnesota Roads; Water Still High on St. Croix

The Minnesota River is not expected to crest at Jordan until Friday or Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.


Frank Rajkowski and Katherine Johnson

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