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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Lewis Street Bridge
CSAH-101 Minnesota River Crossing
Shakopee, MN

Lewis Street Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 70002.
• Location: River Mile 26.9.
• River Elevation: 693 Feet.
• Highway: CSAH-101.
• Daily Traffic Count: 19,500 (1996).
• Bridge Type: Concrete Girder.
• Length: 815 Feet.
• Width: 75 Feet, 4 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 18 Feet.
• Date Built: Opened 1993.
The Lewis Street Bridge crossing the Minnesota River in Shakopee was built just downstream of the old Holmes Street Bridge. The old bridge remains in place as a regional trail crossing. I wasn't aware that this bridge had a name until I saw MN-DOT referring to it as the Lewis Street Bridge during the fall flood of 2010.

This area was once the Minnesota River crossing for US-169. US-169 now bypasses Shakopee and crosses the river on the new Bloomington Ferry Bridge. MN-101 also used this crossing, but the state turned this section of MN-101 back to Scott county. MN-DOT wanted to turn back the section of MN-101 in Carver County south of old US-212, which is about 2 miles north of the river, but Carver County refused to accept the change. As a result, the new bridge and the causeway north to the Scott/Carver county line is CSAH-101, but the causeway north of the county line is still MN-101. Minnesota has two tiers of county road, the higher class is known as a County State Aid Highway. These roads are nearly as good as a state highway.

The bridge is a rather graceful concrete girder structure. It is dressed up with antique style lighting, decorative lines cast into the concrete, and it features a curved deck. The bridge uses the new style solid guardrails. This helps keep debris and runoff contained and prevents it from being thrown into the river by snowplows.

This river crossing has been closed periodically due to flooding. The largest flood was in 1965. Other notable flood years include 1991, 1993, 2001, and 2010. While the bridge itself is built to withstand very high water levels, the causeway north of the bridge is only a few feet above normal water levels. The water has been as high as 20 feet over the road in past floods.

The photo above is a view from the southwest corner of the bridge looking to the north.


Lewis Street Bridge
The photo above is looking north down the length of the bridge deck while the bridge was closed during the spring flood of 2010. The photo below is a view from the northeast corner of the bridge looking to the south. Note that the overland piers are of a different style than the mid-river piers. The later feature a T-shape, while the overland piers are straight on their sides. At the same time, both piers feature an indented arch, which reflects the design of the piers on the old bridge located just upstream.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
The photo above is a view looking south from the river level under the bridge on the north side of the main river channel. The photo below is a view of the south bridge portal looking to the north.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
The photo above is a view from traffic level while crossing the Minnesota River heading northbound. The photo below is a view looking northeast at the west face of the bridge while the area between the new and old bridges was being redeveloped into a riverfront park.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
These two photos are views from the spring flood of 2010. The photo above is looking north across the main channel of the Minnesota River along the downriver east side of the Shakopee Bridge. The photo below is the downriver east side of the bridge as seen from the DNR parking area on the north side of the main river channel. The boat landing and the road that runs under the bridge are under many feet of water.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
These two photos are additional views from the spring flood of 2010. The photo above is the road block set up my MN-DOT to prevent vehicles from attempting to cross the MN-101 causeway. The bridge was blocked in Shakopee, so this is a second layer of road blocks when traveling northbound. The photo below shows water crossing the highway. The water has already dropped about 5 feet since the crest. There was enough damage caused to the highway to keep it closed for several weeks while repairs were being completed.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
Here we go again. It is October 2, 2010, and the highway MN-101 Lewis Street Bridge is closed for a second time in one calendar year due to flooding. The photo above is the barricades at the south end of the bridge in the city of Shakopee. The photo below is looking south from near the north end of the bridge. Many people turned out on this fantastic autumn day to look at the high water.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
The photo above is the bridge spans at the south end of the bridge. These spans are usually dry, with the river channel being just beyond the trees. The photo below is looking north along the downstream side of the Lewis Street Bridge. The bridge does not have a walkway, so pedestrian traffic is normally not allowed on the structure.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
The photo below is the downstream side of the bridge as seen from the DNR boat landing on the north side of the Minnesota River. The first bridge span is normally dry given that a roadway passes between the grass in the foreground and the tree visible on the left edge of the photo. The photo below is the scene on the causeway north of the bridge. A crew from MN-DOT is monitoring the flood and answering a myriad of questions from the spectators.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
The photo below is a closer view of the flooded causeway. This water level is within a few inches of the crest, noting that the water rose up to touch the very bottom of the highway sign marking the water level of two record floods in 1965 and 2001. The photo below is the north end of the causeway, where another MN-DOT crew is monitoring the situation. Here, Police had the roadway blocked off to prevent any spectators from getting close.

Lewis Street Bridge
Lewis Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the riverfront park in Shakopee. The photo above is a small amphitheater, which now features a moat where the first row of seating is located. The photo below is looking east along the submerged riverfront trail on the south side of the river. The trail follows the left side of the lamp posts.

Lewis Street Bridge

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