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2016 Year in Review: New St. Croix bridge nears completion

The 5,000-foot St. Croix Crossing Bridge has a price tag of $330 million, with total project costs estimated upwards of $640 million. Substantial work on the bridge was completed in the last year, and it is set to open in fall of 2017. (photo by Michael Brun)

As the new year rings in, work continues on the St. Croix Crossing bridge.

The new bridge is set to replace the current lift bridge in St. Croix once construction is complete in fall of 2017. It will connect the Town of St. Joseph in Wisconsin to Oak Park Heights in Minnesota.

After the 2016 construction season, the bridge is now resembling an actual bridge. The segments are up and connected, with the first closure pours completed.

Construction on the 5,000-foot project started in 2013, but delays pushed the completion date back.

The new bridge is expected to ease the traffic of cars passing between the two states, as the two-laned lift bridge often saw many back ups and issues. The new four-lane crossing will serve about 30,000 cars a day.

The bridge is designed to last at least 100 years.

Construction of the bridge alone will be about $330 million, while the project as a whole will range between $600 and $640 million. This additional work will include the bike and pedestrian loop, as well as landscaping and other features.

The loop will be a 5-mile long trail that travels from Stillwater over the old lift bridge, through the Town of St. Joseph and down and over the new St. Croix Crossing bridge.

Construction on the loop on the Wisconsin side is expected to begin in 2018. The full trail is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019 after the lift bridge is rehabilitated.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will oversee the construction of the loop on its side, but will then pass the maintenance along to St. Croix County.

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