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Baldwin and Franken visit St. Croix Crossing project

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Project Director Michael Beer speaks with Sens. Baldwin and Franken while standing on a section of the bridge. The senators climbed up to the surface of the bridge after receiving a boat tour of the crossing. (photos by Rebecca Mariscal)2 / 5
Sens. Franken and Baldwin look up at the St. Croix Crossing from underneath the bridge. The senators took a boat tour of the crossing on Sept. 1.3 / 5
The St. Croix Crossing spans out over the St. Croix River. The bridge runs 5,000 feet from Minnesota to Wisconsin.4 / 5
Two segments of the bridge remain separate as work continues. The bridge is set to be completed in fall of 2017.5 / 5

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken toured the St. Croix Crossing project on Sept. 1 to view the progress of the bridge.

The crossing spans 5,000 feet over the St. Croix River connecting St. Joseph, Wisconsin with Oak Park Heights, Minnesota.

After breaking ground in 2013, the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017. Baldwin said she was amazed to see the progress of the construction.

“This is my second visit subsequent to the groundbreaking of this, and just to see from a layperson’s eyes the difference from the piers emerging out of the water to where we are today is quite something to me,” she said.

The new St. Croix Crossing is designed to replace the Stillwater lift bridge that many currently use to cross between the two states. The two-laned lift bridge often causes traffic in the town of Stillwater, and Baldwin said she has heard many complaints from constituents about delays.

“This is going to be an extraordinary asset for those in the workforce,” Baldwin said, “and for those who want to visit Houlton and other beautiful communities on the other side.”

When completed, the bridge will feature two lanes in both directions and will serve between 20,000 and 24,000 cars per day.

Baldwin said the location of the bridge is a result of a multi-year process during which the stakeholders worked to determine the best place for the bridge.

“I really felt like that was a community-based decision,” she said.

Cost for the project as a whole will range between $600 and $640 million. In addition to the bridge itself, the project also features bike trails.

“I’m really excited also for the bike and pedestrian path,” Baldwin said. “I’ll have my bike out here.”

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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