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New St. Croix River bridge expected open for traffic in 2016

After decades and decades of waiting, the first traffic across a new St. Croix River bridge south of Stillwater is expected in 2016.

Jon Chiglo of the Minnesota Department of Transportation gave an updated report on the progress of the major project to the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning.

The first bid for five foundations in the river was awarded to Edward Kraemer and Sons of Plain, Wis., March 4 for $36.7 million. The work will start in April and finish up in the summer of 2014.

The second contract for bridge approach foundations and superstructure will be let this fall.

"In the fall of 2016, the bridge will be open for traffic," he said, with the final project completion set for 2017 including the lift bridge conversion that will become a pedestrian and bikeway.

A pedestrian and bikeway will be part of the "upstream" part of the new bridge, said Chiglo.

He said the bridge will include making 900 precast segments, some 42 feet long, at an "off-site and out of sight" location either on the Minnesota or Wisconsin side of the river.

"In the spring of 2015 we anticipate installing the segments. This will go on for a year and a half with a break over the winter of 2015-16," Chiglo said.

"One of the more challenging elements is building it in the water," he said.