Lift Bridge repairs start July 9

Span closes to traffic Sept. 10 through December

By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette

A $3.4 million repair project on the Historic Lift Bridge begins July 9, with the state scheduled to close the span to traffic from September through early December to complete the work.

Navigation on the St. Croix River will also be affected by the project, according to state Department of Transportation officials.

MnDOT officials said the project will repair the Lift Bridge’s steel, concrete, electrical and mechanical components.

"The Stillwater Lift Bridge rehabilitation project is needed to maintain a safe crossing and to preserve the bridge until it can be converted to a bike and pedestrian facility in 2017," a MnDOT statement said.

MnDOT said crews will repair the following items: steel connections, mechanical and electrical components, concrete surfaces, floor beams paint parts of the bridge at repair locations and replace guardrails, curbs and gutters.

At a June 21 open house about the project at Stillwater City Hall, a MnDOT spokesman said the repairs starting July 9 can be done while the bridge is open to traffic.

However, the state closes the bridge to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians Sept. 10 until work is completed.

And the work that starts July 9 will affect marine traffic on the river at the Lift Bridge.

"After July 9, the navigation channel will be reduced by 10 feet at times in order for crews to repair the lift span piers," according to MnDOT. "Starting Oct. 15, the lift span will not open from Sunday night to Saturday night for three weeks. The span will not open then until the end of the project."

When the Lift Bridge closes in September, MnDOT said detours to cross the St. Croix River are the Interstate 94 bridge in Hudson or the Highway 243 bridge in Osceola, Wis.