The newest face of the St. Croix River Crossing project is a smiling catfish wearing a yellow hard hat, orange safety vest and work boots.
The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce unveiled Channel Cat Tuesday at a bridge construction open house for businesses at Stillwater Motor Co. in Oak Park Heights. The hopes Channel Cat — a friendly St. Croix catfish — becomes the area’s smiling personality for the five-year construction project.
The chamber created Channel Cat working with MNDOT and WisDOT officials on communication strategies for businesses affected by bridge-related construction that are starts next spring. As the project’s primary contracting agency, MnDOT utilizes its own project logo that is the official project image.
“We feel it’s important for the local community to have its own identity for the project. The chamber’s Channel Cat personality offers a positive image for the project while reflecting care and concern for the St. Croix River Valley’s ecological resources,” said Vanessa Levingston, MnDOT business liaison.
Channel Cat is a colorful character, changing clothes and accessories to represent the variety of local industries.
“We wanted the Channel Cat’s personality to directly personify the different area businesses connected to this important project. As a chef, doctor, construction worker or bellhop, the Channel Cat will represent our local businesses throughout the duration of the project,” said Todd Streeter, Chamber executive director.
Used in conjunction with local communication efforts by the chamber, Channel Cat is available for use by chamber member businesses and other organizations. With the support of area businesses, the chamber hopes to develop a mascot that would then visit schools, hospitals, and other activities and events.
“MnDOT is extremely supportive of educational opportunities, and we feel Channel Cat can help in those efforts,” Streeter said.
Contact the Chamber for more Channel Cat information at 651-439-4001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.