The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has gotten most of the necessary permits approved for construction the new St. Croix River Crossing bridge, according to an annual report released late last week by MnDOT.
The agency has requested and is awaiting two permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and plans to seek water appropriation and invasive species permits if needed from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, according to the report.
Other on-going permit requests as part of the project are with the Middle St. Croix Watershed Management group, St. Croix County, Wis., and the town of St. Joseph, Wis. The new bridge will span the St. Croix River between Oak Park Heights and St. Joseph.
The annual report describes actions taken by MnDOT, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Federal Highway Administration and other agencies from March 1, 2012, through Feb. 28.
The report also outlines the project schedule and estimated costs of constructing the Minnesota and Wisconsin approaches, bridge pier foundations and the bridge and ramp bridges.
The report said construction on the Minnesota approach begins next month, and bridge pier foundation work starting in May. Contracts for the river bridge and ramp bridges will be let in September and construction on the Wisconsin approach starts in spring 2014.
The bridge pier foundations are expected to be finished later this year, with the Minnesota approach work expected to be finished in 2014, the report said. Construction of the river and ramp bridges will be this year through 2016 and the Wisconsin approaches being built from 2014 through 2016, the report adds.
Once the new bridge is finished and open to traffic, the Stillwater Lift Bridge will be converted to a pedestrian and bicycle span in 2017, the report said. Mitigation work is also expected to be finished that year.
Although the total project is estimated to cost about $650 million, the report said the estimated construction costs are about $400 million. Construction costs break down to:
- $60 million for the Minnesota approach;
- $45 million for the pier foundations;
- $255 million for the river and ramp bridges, and
- $40 million for the Wisconsin approach.