ST. CHARLES, Minn. – Hwy 74 motorists traveling into Whitewater State Park north of St. Charles will be detoured beginning Monday, Feb. 1 for a historic bridge rehabilitation project, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The construction project is in Whitewater State Park near the south entrance. The road will be closed at the work zone during the project, which is expected to be completed in late October.

The work on the four bridges includes repair of floors and walls. Starting the project in the winter will make the work under the bridge easier as less water will be flowing than when the snow begins to melt in the spring. There will also be soil work and rock placement around the bridges to prevent erosion.

Northbound Hwy 74 motorists trying to access Whitewater State Park should follow the detour route:

  • Turn left on Winona County Road 22 west, which turns into Olmsted Country Road 9.
  • Turn right on Olmsted Country Road 10 north.
  • Turn right on Olmsted County Road 2 east, which turns into Winona County Road 39. This will bring motorists to the north entrance of Whitewater State Park, south of Elba.

The visitor center, camping areas, majority of trails and other amenities can be accessed from the north entrance of Whitewater State Park. Visit their website for contact information and park details.

Environmental Associates Inc. is the prime contractor on the $4.7 million project.

Motorists can find more information on the plans and sign up for email updates at the MnDOT project website.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges travelers to always drive with caution, and reminds everyone to:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For state highway road conditions in Minnesota, go to the MnDOT road conditions map, call 511 or visit

To connect with MnDOT information, news and updates in southern Minnesota, visit: