St. Croix Bridge construction will now begin in spring 2013
The Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation announced earlier this week they will accelerate the St. Croix Bridge project by starting construction on the river piers for the bridge foundation in 2013.
"We have been working on integrating the results of the load testing to make the project more efficient in terms of managing scope, schedule and budget," said Jon Chiglo, MnDOT project director. "By separating out the foundation transportation work, we can start construction sooner, reduce inflation costs and create jobs a year earlier than scheduled."
The $50 million foundation contract will open for bids in late winter 2013. Construction is anticipated to begin on the bridge foundations in late spring 2013. Previously, construction was planned to begin in spring 2014.
The St. Croix Crossing project replaces the 80-year-old Stillwater lift bridge with a safer, more reliable four-lane bridge that will connect expressways on both sides of the St. Croix River in Stillwater and Oak Park Heights, Minn. and Houlton.
The project adds extensive trail systems, including converting the Stillwater lift bridge to a bicycle and pedestrian crossing. It also includes constructing three miles of four-lane highway on Hwy. 35 in Wisconsin and reconstructing about three miles of Hwy. 36 and Hwy. 95 in Minnesota.
The four-lane St. Croix Crossing bridge is estimated to cost between $280 million and $310 million. The total cost for the entire St. Croix Crossing project is estimated to cost between $580 million and $676 million.