By Kelsie Hoitomt
The Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation announced last week in a news release that they will accelerate the St. Croix Bridge project by starting construction on the river piers for the bridge foundation in the spring of 2013.
“By separating out the foundation work, we can start construction sooner, reduce inflation costs and create jobs a year earlier than scheduled,” said Jon Chiglo, MnDOT Project Director.
The $50 million dollar contract will open for bids in late winter of 2013. Construction is anticipated to begin on the bridge foundation this coming spring, instead of 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, Minnesota and St. Joesph, Wisconsin.
The project adds extensive trail systems, including converting the Stillwater Lift Bridge to a bicycle and pedestrian crossing.
It will also include constructing three miles of four-lane highway on Highway 35 in Wisconsin and reconstructing about three miles of Highway 36 and Highway 95 in Minnesota.
The four-lane St. Croix Crossing Bridge is estimated to cost between $280 million and $310 million dollars.
The total cost for the entire St. Croix Crossing project is estimated to cost between $580 million and $676 million dollars.