Stillwater Lift bridge to close for repairs through early AugustA truck driver's error will likely lead to weeks of detours for motorists wishing to cross the St. Croix River at Stillwater, following an announcement by the state's transportation department.
By: Mark Brouwer, RiverTown Newspaper Group
A truck driver's error will likely lead to weeks of detours for motorists wishing to cross the St. Croix River at Stillwater, following an announcement by the state's transportation department.
Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday and lasting through early August, the Stillwater Lift Bridge close to traffic so crews can repair damage caused this week when a boom on an eastbound lumber-delivery truck struck the bridge in several places.
During the closure, the Minnesota Department of Transportation advises motorists to follow a posted detour south to the Interstate 94 bridge at Hudson.
The bridge will reopen briefly during Stillwater's annual Lumberjack Days celebration - from 5 a.m., Wednesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 27. As-yet to be announced weight and height restrictions will be in effect during this time.
On early Monday, July 28, the department will close the bridge again until repairs are completed in early August. Throughout, the lift span will remain operational to allow marine traffic to pass.
"We discussed it, and definitely, we will not be closing the bridge during Lumberjack Days," Barnard said. "But our goal is to get as much done beforehand."
Each year, the five-day celebration draws tens of thousands of revelers from Minnesota and Wisconsin, causing serious traffic congestion on area roads.
Barnard said a process called "heat straightening" will be employed to repair both horizontal and vertical supports bent by the truck's boom. The truck was traveling west from the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River when the boom it was carrying struck eight horizontal steel bracings and three "portals," or steel arches, that form parts of the historic bridge's truss system.
Once repairs are completed, the bridge will return to its usual restrictions barring single-axle loads 28 tons or greater, multi-axle loads 40 tons or greater and traffic exceeding 13 feet 2 inches in height.
Mark Brouwer is at 651-439-4366 and at email@example.com.