Local contractor C.S. McCrossan was selected by the state Department of Transportation to lead the reconstruction and realignment of Minnesota 36, the first phase of the of the St. Croix Crossing project that begins in about two months.
MnDOT made the announcement of McCrossan’s selection last Friday. The two-year MN 36 project is scheduled to start in April and be finished in fall 2014. It is the first phase of the nearly $700 million bridge project expected to be finished in 2017.
Along with reconstruction and realignment of state Highways 36 through Oak Park Heights and 95 in Bayport, this initial project includes:
- Relocating utilities.
- Adding turn lanes at the Oakgreen and Greeley and Osgood intersections.
- Realigning the MN 36 intersection at Oakgreen and Greeley to improve access points.
- Converting the north and south frontage roads to create a shared center turn lane.
- Adding a trail along the south frontage road that connects to the new loop trail.
- Adding retention ponds to improve storm water treatment and water quality.
- Connecting the south frontage road to Stage Coach Trail, creating access to MN 95.
- Realigning the Beach Road bridge to include bike and pedestrian trails.
- Constructing noise and retaining walls.
- Adding traffic signals, lights, signs and pavement markings.
- Implementing an intelligent transportation system with cameras and traffic detection.
St. Croix Crossing Project Director Jon Chiglo said some closures of the Oakgreen and Greeley and Osgood intersections with MN 36 are planned during the project. But he adds that any intersection closings will be staggered so one of the intersections will remain open to traffic.
In recent appearances before the Stillwater, Oak Park Heights and Bayport city councils and Washington County Board of Commissioners, Chiglo said the MN 36 contract has incentives for McCrossan if the contractor finishes work early. Chiglo added that access to businesses along MN 36 will be maintained during construction.
Besides starting MN 36 project in the spring, Chiglo said work is expected to begin this year on the five bridge pier foundations in the St. Croix River. He added that the foundation work would be done separate from construction of the bridge piers.
Chiglo said bridge structure parts will be manufactured and stored at a staging area near the site where the span crosses the river between Oak Park Heights and St. Joseph Township, Wis., and delivered by barge to the construction site.
“We want to thank the cities, counties and all stakeholders who were instrumental in the success of the project development phase of the St. Croix Crossing. As we enter the implementation phase and look forward to construction beginning on Highway 36 in early spring, we will continue to work together to bring the project to fruition,” Chiglo said.
MnDOT’s announcement of McCrossan’s selection as MN 36 contractor comes about a week after the agency announced it would set up a project office at 1862 Greeley St. South. The Washington County Historical Society is scheduled to close its purchase of that building Feb. 28 and take over a 45-month lease the building’s previous owner negotiated with MnDOT.
Chiglo told the Oak Park Heights City Council at the group’s work session last week that MnDOT is currently painting and setting up the Greeley Street site and expects to open its project office in early March. MnDOT will have extended hours at the Greeley Street location to answer residents’ questions about the project.
MnDOT and Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials also plan several open houses in early spring to discuss the project with St. Croix Valley residents.
Besides the MN 36 project, the project includes a four-lane bridge, new roadway approaches on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River, historic and environmental mitigation and trails, including the conversion of the Lift Bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle river crossing.