New bridge, trail topics at upcoming meetings

Residents can learn more about St. Croix span, Brown’s Creek trail projects

By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette

Residents of two St. Croix Valley communities can learn more about the St. Croix River Crossing and Brown’s Creek trail projects at separate open houses in the next two weeks.

The state Department of Transportation hosts an open house in Oak Park Heights Wednesday to explain the St. Croix Crossing project. The meeting is 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Conference Room at Boutwells Landing, 5600 Norwich Parkway.

MnDOT and Wisconsin Department of Transportation representatives will be at the open house to answer questions and listen to concerns from area residents and businesses.

The Oak Park Heights session is the first of a series of MnDOT open houses this month and in May on the St. Croix bridge project. More information can be found at

The Jaques Chapter of the Izaak Walton League hosts a public meeting on the Brown’s Creek Regional Trail project from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. April 19 at the Washington County Library Wildwood Branch in Mahtomedi.

Three speakers will present updates on the trail project. They are state Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Planner Colin Kelly, DNR Section Leader Kent Skaar and Brown’s Creek Watershed District Administrator Karen Kill. Kelly will explain the trail master plan; Skaar discusses the trail acquisition and development process and Kill talks about projects along the trail corridor and how they will improve water quality.

Survey, design and engineering work on the Brown’s Creek trail is underway after DNR Commissioner Tom Ladwehr recently approved the project.

The six-mile paved trail runs on the former path of the Minnesota Zephyr dinner train from Stillwater west and intersect the Gateway Trial in Grant. The Brown’s Creek trail offers scenic countryside views through a gorge and follows two miles of Brown’s Creek, a designated trout stream.