Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hinckley Bridge Replacement Project

Pine County

Traffic impacts

In 2023, motorists will encounter lane closures while median crossovers are installed. Work is expected to begin in August.

In 2024 and 2025, traffic will be single-lane head-to-head in the project area with ramp detours.

About this project

A rendering of the Hinckley bridges project.

Click image for full-size image

Summary of work

Replace the following bridges: northbound and southbound I-35 bridges over the Grindstone River located 0.3 miles north of the junction of MN 48, and northbound and southbound I-35 bridges over the BNSF railroad located 1.2 miles north of the junction of MN 48. Repair bridge over I-35 at MN 48. Unbonded concrete overlay on I-35 from 1.0 mile south of MN 48 to 2.2 miles north of MN 48.

In 2023, median crossovers will be constructed. Bridge work and highway resurfacing will occur in 2024 and 2025.

Project maps

Below are explanations and maps of each stage of the I-35 project. Click on each stage to see a map of the project area or detour being described.

Stage 1: The northbound bridges over the Grindstone River and the BNSF Railroad are planned for replacement during Stage 1 starting in early 2024, and traffic will be head-to-head on the southbound roadway (depicted by the blue line on the map). Some repairs to the bridge carrying Hwy 48 over I-35 are also planned for this stage, but all work is planned for underneath the bridge. No construction is planned on Hwy 48. Work on the northbound on- and off-ramps to Hwy 48 is necessary during this Stage and is expected to last a month minimum. During ramp closures, Hinckley can be accessed via a detour to Hwy 61. Travel delays can be expected on Friday evenings and Sundays on I-35 as well as other minor roads in the area.

Stage 2: Once replacement of the northbound bridge over the Grindstone River is complete, the southbound bridge over the Grindstone River can be replaced during Stage 2 planned for later in 2024. Traffic will be head-to-head, shifting between the northbound and southbound roadways within the project limits so to accommodate the completion of the BNSF Railroad overpass (depicted by the blue line on the map). Work on the southbound on- and off-ramps to Hwy 48 is necessary during this Stage and is expected to last a month minimum. During ramp closures, Hinckley can be accessed via a detour to Hwy 61. Travel delays can be expected on Friday evenings and Sundays on I-35 as well as other minor roads in the area.

Stage 3: The southbound bridge over the BNSF Railroad is planned for replacement during Stage 3, expected to begin in early 2025. Traffic will be head-to-head on the northbound roadway (depicted by the blue line on the map) during Stage 3.

Detour: Ramp work is a part of this project and will require closing the ramps on each side of the interstate for approximately a month at a time. During ramp closures, Hinckley can be accessed via Hwy 61 from the north and south. Travelers can expect delays on Friday evenings and Sundays on detour routes when ramps are closed.

Alternate route: Because of travel delays expected on I-35, an optional alternate route to Hwy 48 using Pine County Road 14 and County Road 15 is being signed for those that choose to avoid the Hinckley interchange altogether.

Public meetings

MnDOT hosted three public meetings in November to present information on the I-35 bridge project and how it will impact residents and visitors. For those unable to attend, below is a recording of the Nov. 16 virtual meeting.