Bridge work ramps up this month

Area motorists will experience few impacts or delays on Minnesota highways 36 and 95 from St. Croix Crossing project construction this week due to the Fourth of July holiday Thursday, but St. Croix River boaters will be affected when the Lift Bridge remains down at 10:30 and 11 p.m. to accommodate traffic from the Stillwater fireworks show.

After this week’s holiday, however, state Department of Transportation officials said motorists will see traffic changes and delays on highways 36 and 95 as part of bridge construction activity increases and runs through the fall.

“A lot of the impacts that are coming will be in mid-July,” said Jessica Wiens, MnDOT spokeswoman for the project.

MnDOT said all lanes of highways 36 and 95 will be open Thursday through Sunday and crews will not work Thursday. Work resumes Friday and Saturday, a MnDOT news release said.

But MnDOT said motorists could experience slight delays on the bypass from eastbound MN 36 to southbound MN 95 and northbound MN 95 to westbound MN 36.

And MnDOT said motorists traveling to and from Stillwater might want to find alternate routes because of the closure of MN 36 between U.S. Highway 61 and White Bear Avenue for the English Street overpass project, and intermittent single-lane traffic on MN 36 in each direction from Interstate 694 to one mile east of DeMontreville Road in Lake Elmo for the Hilton Road interchange project.

St. Croix River boaters are reminded that the DNR has a no-wake zone on the river due to high water levels. If the no-wake rules are lifted when the river level falls under 83 feet, the Minnesota and Wisconsin DOTs ask boaters to observe no-wake rules in the restricted channel between Stillwater and Bayport and not enter the bridge work zone in the river.

The high river level forced Edward Kraemer and Sons crews to stop work on the Pier 8 foundation. Workers instead are working on pier foundations near the Wisconsin shoreline. Work at Pier 8 is expected to resume next week.

Although crews are not working on pier foundations Thursday through Sunday, MnDOT said the designated work zone remains off-limits to boaters and no-wake rules will be observed.

Wiens reminds river boaters that the Lift Bridge lift section remains down for about 90 minutes to allow Thursday fireworks show traffic to clear.

“Boaters need to be aware that if they have to cross, their options are 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.,” she said.

Also this month, crews begin reconstructing MN 36 east of Osgood Avenue and MN 95 from Lookout Trail to Point Road. MnDOT said the major traffic change is single lanes of traffic on MN 36 just west of Osgood Avenue. The MN 36 ramps to Beach Road remain open but Beach Road is anticipated to close later this summer.

MnDOT also said traffic signals will be at the MN 36-MN 95 junction, affecting southbound MN 95 traffic and eastbound MN 36 to northbound MN 95 traffic. Residents and businesses in that area could experience disruptions as crews excavate and haul excess dirt during day and overnight hours Mondays through Saturdays. The haul route includes Beach Road and Stagecoach Road to Osprey Street in Bayport.

MnDOT said motorists using MN 95 will see single lanes in each direction from Point Road to Lookout Trail through the end of the construction season. Crews will realign MN 95, complete utility work and construct trails and a weekend closure of MN 95 is planned later this summer to remove the flyover bridge for eastbound MN 36.

Contact Erik Sandin at erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

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